Ghillar Michael Anderson, Convenor and Joint Spokesperson of the Sovereign Union and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic said from Brewarrina today:
I am responding to a confrontation that has occurred between those organising 1965 Freedom Ride re-enactment, in particular Rachel Perkins who took offence to my comments. The intention of my statement of 5 January 2015 was not to offend anyone but to set matters straight. It was revealed that Noel Pearson was expected to be part of the Freedom Ride re-enactment, but this has been refuted by Rachel and I accept her explanation, as we spoke for over an hour by phone. I informed her that when she is organising things in conjunction with the NSW Aboriginal Land Council not to allow any inferences, such as Noel Pearson's presence, because confidentiality within the State Land Council is not its strong point. It was stated from with the NSW State Land Council that monies from the State Land Council were for the purpose of filming the reenactment. Sydney University is the principle funder of this re enactment through Shane Houston and the Aboriginal education unit.
Having spoken with Rachel Perkins and Phillip Hall, the eldest son of the late Harry Hall, an adjustment to the organising of the trip has been made, which will now see more of the people of 1965 engaged in the re-enactment. It is now understood that all of the Hall family and my mother Mavis Eckford, representing her sister Pat Hickey-Walford, will now be involved in the re-enactment at Walgett. In Moree Phillip Hall has advised me that the Munro family will be very well represented.
It is understood that one of the original non-Aboriginal students, Jim Spigelman, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, will arrive in Moree to coincide with the arrival of the Freedom Ride bus for this re-enactment.
Having now talked to all the parties, which was not done in the first instance, matters have now been corrected and we expect that this Freedom Ride re-enactment will be just as explosive and noteworthy as the original one.
Considering the issues that Aboriginal people face today, many Aboriginal people of the 1965 vintage now argue that we may have advanced with bricks and mortar and have achieved better educational outcomes, given the fights we have had in the past for rights, but overall our people are worse off now than they ever were. We have much to talk and protest about on this trip.
Ghillar Michael Anderson
Convenor and Joint Spokesperson of Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic