14 April 2015
Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) – I rise to pay my respects to Aboriginal elder and leader Dr Alf Bamblett. On 26 March I together with the former Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Jeanette Powell had the privilege of representing the Liberal-Nationals coalition at Uncle Alf’s state funeral in Moama. Uncle Alf will be remembered as a proud Yorta Yorta Bangerang and Wiradjuri man an outstanding leader and tireless advocate for the Aboriginal community over many decades and a fair and considerate person who consistently challenged injustice and remained true to his values. Uncle Alf played a very significant role in Aboriginal affairs and was instrumental in shaping many Aboriginal community organisations. In government the Liberal-Nationals coalition was proud to name Uncle Alf as one of the first inductees into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll.
Uncle Alf was larger than life with a strong voice which resounded well beyond Victoria – a voice that continually championed the need for equality regardless of race colour or religion. In death Uncle Alf’s life was summed up succinctly by his granddaughter Nikayla Bamblett:
Pop had a great ability to make people from all walks of life feel special from ministers to grassroots community leaders – he had time for everybody.
Uncle Alf’s grandson Dixon described his grandfather as:
… a leader a family man a father a grandfather … a devoted husband a community person a politician a warrior and a man of God.
Surely there can be no greater legacy than this profound and meaningful one which will extend well beyond the grave instilling hope and strength in the generations to follow.