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.
List of speakers and topics for the David Hunter Memorial Lecture
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.