13 November 2020: The Hon Linda Burney MP delivered the annual Ngunnawal Lecture at the Ann Harding Centre last night as part of the University of Canberra’s NAIDOC Week activities.
Ms Burney is a Wiradjuri woman, and was the first Aboriginal person to be elected to NSW Parliament, she is the current Member for Barton and Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services and Indigenous Australians.
The University traditionally presents the Ngunnawal Lecture in November every year, but as NAIDOC Week was postponed to November due to COVID-19, the two events were perfectly aligned as part of the University’s NAIDOC Week activities.
The Ngunnawal Lecture is intended to highlight the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and allows the speaker to share those experiences.
University of Canberra Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous, Professor Peter Radoll, said Ms Burney was chosen to deliver the 2020 lecture because of her long history of Indigenous education.
“Linda is such a strong leader and role model for many people, having been elected as the first Aboriginal person to serve in the NSW Government and the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the House of Representatives,” Professor Radoll said.
“She has enjoyed a long career with considerable influence in the education space, and brings a lot of experience to the table.”
Professor Radoll further emphasised Ms Burney’s connection with the University.
“Linda served on the University’s Council for a number of years and because of her understanding and personal connection with the University it is with great pleasure that we ask her to come back and share her insights on what is an incredible life story.”
With only a limited number of in-person tickets available for the event, due to COVIDSafe restrictions, the Lecture was live-streamed for the first time this year, enabling a wider audience to participate.
Ms Burney provided attendees with a raw and honest insight into life as an Aboriginal woman, and shared her positive outlook for the future of Aboriginal people in Australia.