Central Australia has lost a remarkable community leader with the passing of Jakamara Nelson.
Mr Nelson was a very close friend to me for over 35 years. He provided me with advice and support during the course of many events during that time.
He was a true leader a person of great intellect, and knowledge. He was a strong voice that demanded to be heard. He was an absolute believer in and an advocate for truth telling, the recognition of Aboriginal rights and land rights in particular as evidenced by his belief and roles in the Central Land Council which included founding member, executive member and long-term delegate.
Mr Nelson will be remembered for his humour and generosity. I recall when Mr Nelson welcomed a group of my parliamentary colleagues to his Yuendumu community, introducing himself, with a smile, as Brendan Nelson’s brother. Brendon Nelson being the leader of the Liberal/National Opposition at that time.
We have lost a great friend and a leader of passion and conviction. Above all else though Mr Nelson loved his family and community. He took his responsibilities very seriously.
His life story saw many changes and he was able to recount each stage and his part in it with a humility that earned him the respect of all that had the pleasure to meet with him, whether in the corridors of power, or out and about at footy carnivals, land council meetings or in town watching the world go by.
Mr Nelson was a fighter to the end. I met with him recently and he hoped those following in his footsteps would continue to protect knowledge, country and culture.
We have lost a great friend and a leader of passion and conviction. Above all else though Mr Nelson loved his family and community. He took his responsibilities very seriously.”
Condolences to Mr Nelson’s wife Lynette, his children and families.