THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Member for Lingiari
Minister for Indigenous Health
12 November 2012
The passing of John Fletcher has deeply saddened all of us who were privileged to know him.
Our heartfelt sympathy go out to his partner in life Eslyn, his daughter Janine, and to the many children ‘Granpoppy’ cared for.
For nearly thirty five years I had the honour of knowing Fletch, he was a friend and ally in working for the well being of Aboriginal people and Territorians in general.
Fletch progressed from working at the Border Store in the early days to the Conservation Commission, where he worked on the establishment of the Keep River and Gregory National Parks.
His advocacy and work as a union organiser with the LHMU is also remembered to this day.
He was instrumental in the Aged Care Health Connect program, a forerunner of today’s e–health system.
He worked with the Aboriginal Language Centre and Jawoyn Association in Katherine, was the town Clerk at Barunga, at the Binjari community and in recent years at Wurli Wurlinjang Medical Service in Katherine.
In all the phases of his life, Fletch was a pillar of strength for his family, extending across generations, a leader, a thinker, a person of action, fearless, inclusive and a friend too many.
Throughout his life, and particularly as a partner, father and family patriarch, Fletch’s rock solid commitment to being a force for good in our society has been unwavering.
Fletch leaves a lasting legacy at Wurli as he does with the Aboriginal Medical Services Association of the Northern Territory. AMSANT is poorer for our loss of his leadership, his calm and firm guidance.
Perhaps nothing typifies the values personified in Fletch more than his foresight, work and guidance in the field of male health.
A driving force behind the immensely important Strongbala Male Health Program, Fletch and the Strongbala team worked together with marginalised Aboriginal males to regain their self-esteem, cultural security and lives.
A good man, an honest man, a person of principle and a much loved friend is gone.
Fletch’s passing is a loss to his family, to the people of Katherine and to us all.
Farewell Fletch, you are with us always.
Media Contact: Lidija Ivanovski 0407 108 935