David Hunter was one of the founding members of ANTaR, and an enormously supportive and inspiring activist on Indigenous issues. In October 2000 he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and he died in December 2003. At the time current members of ANTaR ACT decided to host an annual memorial lecture in memory of David’s contributions to reconciliation and Indigenous rights. This decision was supported by the Journey of Healing ACT, another group which David supported enthusiastically. The two groups co-hosted the annual lecture for the first four years, with ANTaR ACT continuing alone after Journey of Healing disbanded. The location for each of the lectures has been the Chapel of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture , an institution with a strong emphasis on ecumenism, reconciliation, justice and a broad exploration of spirituality.
David was inspired by his Christian faith and membership of the Baptist community in Canberra. He tirelessly worked for reconciliation between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians, especially among the Baptist and broader church communities, but also in community groups such as ANTaR. In this work he had a commitment towards healing and wholeness which was reflected in his own writings and reflections, including his PhD topic “Signs of Life” which focussed on the miracle stories in the gospel of John (David’s PhD was conferred post-humously in June 2006). These themes have also formed the basis for the annual lectures.
The memorial lecture has been a wonderful tribute to David Hunter by both keeping his memory alive and keeping the Canberra community focused on important issues he felt passionate about and worked hard to progress.
List of speakers and topics for the David Hunter Memorial Lecture
|31 October 2017||Tristan Ray, Shannan Dodson, Chris Bourke and Jennie Gordon||Looking back, looking forward – steps towards justice, rights, respect (20 years on from the first Sea of Hands)|
|3 November 2016||Rod Little||The Importance of the Redfern Statement|
|29 October 2015||Stan Grant||Countering racism in the media|
|20 November 2014||Tony Birch, Samantha Faulkner, Joyce Graham and Michelle Bedford||Advancing reconciliation and expressing identity through writing|
|12 November 2013||Selina Walker, Darren Chong and Deanne Reed||Canberra and beyond|
|27 November 2012||Les Malezer and Ros Brown||What next for constitutional recognition?|
|17 November 2011||John Paterson and Jon Altman||Beyond the Intervention: Aboriginal development in the Northern Territory|
|4 November 2010||Mick Gooda and Brendan Church||Justice re-investment|
|10 November 2009||Dr Ros Kidd||Stolen wages|
|16 October 2008||Grant Paulson||The changing landscape for Indigenous young people|
|12 October 2007||Julie Tongs||Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service|
|8 November 2006||Rev Ray Minniecon||Personal journeys in justice and hope|
|24 August 2005||Vicki Walker||Reconciliation – a unique moment in time|
|28 July 2004||Mark Yettica-Paulson||Healing the nation: a question of leadership|