Catholic Commission regrets passing of Dr Perkins
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council's (NATSICC) chairperson, Ms Vicki Walker expressed her sadness at yesterday's death of aboriginal leader Dr Perkins.
The legendary aboriginal public servant, an Arrente and Kalkadoon man, died in Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital after a long illness.
He was the first Aboriginal person to complete a university degree, graduating from Sydney University. At the University, he was appointed as the President of Student Action for Aborigines and led the famous 'Freedom Ride' in 1966. Dr Perkins then pursued a long career in the Public Service. His posts included chair of the Aboriginal Development Commission and head of the Aboriginal Affairs Department.
Ms Walker said: "Dr Perkins continually broke down barriers and opened up a new worlds for Aboriginal people throughout his life. A brave and persistent man, Dr Perkins was a great role model for all Aboriginal people believing in peaceful protest."
On behalf of NATSICC, she sent condolences to Dr Perkins' wife, Eileen, their three children and grandchildren, his many friends and relatives.
Note: Dr Perkins family have asked that he be referred to simply as Dr Perkins or Kumantjayi, in accordance with traditional custom.