David Hunter Memorial Lecture

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David Hunter

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

5 March 2024
Kim Davison, Julie Tongs and Selina Walker ACT-ION! ACT for Indigenous Outcomes Now!
Lecture paused to allow ANTaR ACT to support the YES campaign to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
25 August 2022 Cheryl Axleby and Tanya Keed Let’s Have Smart Justice in the ACT
27 September 2021
Bhiamie Williamson How can we heal Country?
27 August 2020 Tony McAvory SC First Nations Treaties: a matter of justice
17 October 2019 Prof Jaklyn Troy, Caroline Hughes
Indigenous languages: their importance and revival
9 October 2018
Muriel Bamblett, Selina Walker, Fran Crowe Change the future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care
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

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