Event: Annual Eureka Democracy Award Dinner
Guest Speaker: Greg Barns; Topic: Democracy and the ‘Fair Go’ in Australia today
Venue: Amora Hotel, Bridge Road, Richmond
When: Saturday December 2nd, 2017 – 6.30pm for 7.00pm
Cost: $65.00 per person; tables of 10 available for $650 per table: Bookings Essential – see flyer below
NEWS RELEASE: November 20, 2017
PROMINENT AUSTRALIAN TO RECEIVE COVETED DEMOCRACY AWARD
One of Australia’s leading social justice advocates and human rights activists, Senator Patrick Dodson, is to be awarded the prestigious ‘Eureka Democracy Award’ for 2017, at a Dinner in Melbourne on 2 December. This award is made annually by the national organization ‘Eureka’s Children’ to an individual or group who has made a major contribution to the advancement of Australian democracy and principles of social justice.
In announcing the 2017 Eureka Democracy Award, the President of Eureka’s Children, Eric Howard, said that Senator Patrick Dodson was an outstanding advocate with a lifetime commitment to achieving peaceful and just change.
As President of Eureka’s Children, I have admired and respected the remarkable leadership Senator Dodson has delivered in addressing imbalances facing Indigenous people in this land. In his tireless work for reconciliation and recognition over many decades, Patrick has fostered dialogue and built constructive relationships between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, based on mutual respect and understanding. He demonstrates a consistent commitment to human rights and dignity and has continued to encourage a much more informed, inclusive and engaged society.
Patrick’s leadership has continued to keep alive the vision of participatory democracy in contemporary Australian culture, reflecting the values established at Eureka and respecting the ancient culture of this country.
It is significant that Patrick will be receiving the Eureka Democracy Award on the 163rd anniversary of the Eureka Stockade confrontation, when miners at Ballarat defended their right to challenge an unjust and extremely corrupt system in this country, leading to the rapid adoption of their demands including those of the Ballarat Reform League, setting in train a more just and democratic Australia.Eureka embodies the aspirations of equality and justice for all. Today it is up to the Australian community to require our governments to deliver long-promised justice and recognition for our indigenous communities.
Senator Dodson commented that:
It is a great honor to be receiving the 2017 Eureka Democracy Award. In a civic and civil democracy, we must always stand up for what is good, fair and just. I have spent my life dedicated to social justice for First Nation’s Australian’s. We are still fighting to be recognised for our unique status as the first people of this nation. As a Senator for Western Australia working within the Parliament, I share the privilege and responsibility of making laws that are fair, balanced and respectful of difference and diversity and for the benefit of all. Ultimately, it is the Australian people who instill their trust in politicians and who give us this responsibility. That is the power of our democracy.
Patrick has influenced our national conversations for decades, and now as a Senator he is embracing new opportunities as a senior man to advocate beneficial change for Australia, Eric Howard said.
SENATOR PAT DODSON
Patrick Dodson is a Yawuru man from Broome in Western Australia. He has dedicated his life work to being an advocate for constructive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples based on mutual respect, understanding and dialogue. He is a recipient of the 2008 Sydney International Peace prize.
Patrick has extensive experience in Aboriginal Affairs, previously Director of the Central and Kimberley Land Councils and a Commissioner in the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He also served as inaugural Chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and as Co-Chair of the Expert Panel for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.
Prior to his endorsement as a Western Australian Senator in March 2016, Patrick was a member of the ANU Council, Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame (Broome) and Co-Chair of the National Referendum Council.
Eureka’s Children is an association of descendants of the participants in the 1854 Eureka Stockade events and their aftermath. Membership is also available to non-descendants who have a special interest in Eureka. Its objectives are set out on the website www.eurekaschildren.org.au
The Association seeks not only to commemorate the events of Eureka, (including the adoption of the Ballarat Reform League Charter) and its aftermath, but also to encourage a broader discussion about the values associated with the goldfields community’s quest for representation, basic freedoms and social justice and the role that these democratic values should play in contemporary Australian society. It seeks to support groups and organizations with similar aims including the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (Ballarat).
EUREKA DEMOCRACY AWARD
The Eureka Democracy Award is intended to recognize an individual or an organisation that has, through their endeavours, contributed to strengthening democratic traditions and social justice outcomes in Australia. This extends to those who work towards building a ‘fair go’ for all in Australian society and who recognize that all political power resides in the people. Eureka speaks to us of the importance of a free society being prepared to react to oppressive authorities while seeking equality, valuing human rights and human dignity.