19 June 2015
Jim Wright was a leader in our community and dedicated his life to the advancement of Aboriginal people.
His vision and determination for equality for all Indigenous Australians enriched opportunity and the lives of thousands.
Jim was the driving force behind the establishment of the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-Op Limited, Yarnteen Limited and a number of Land Councils in and around Newcastle.
He sat on many Aboriginal Advisory Boards and Committees, including as a Commissioner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, the NSW Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee and NSW Aboriginal Health Resource Committee, and was Chairperson of the Sydney/Newcastle Regional Aboriginal Land Council.
I always appreciated the close working relationship I had with Jim. We first met through my work with the Newcastle Aboriginal Support Group, and we continued to work together in my roles as a Newcastle City Councillor and later as Federal Member.
We both also shared a passion for Rugby League and I know how proud Jim was of his beloved Yarnteen Yowies.
His contribution to our community over the last five decades was immense.
I send my deepest condolences to Jim’s extensive family and friends at this sad time.