A state funeral has been offered to the family of Tweed-born Aboriginal rights campaigner and activist Faith Bandler, who died in Sydney at the weekend, aged 96.
‘Our country has lost a champion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians,’ prime minister Tony Abbott and indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion said in a joint statement on Saturday.
Ms Bandler, who was born at Tumbulgum in the Tweed, led the campaign for the 1967 referendum to recognise indigenous Australians as full citizens and give them rights under the constitution.
The Order of Australia winner and national living treasure also helped establish the Aboriginal Australian Fellowship and was general secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
‘Her legacy lives on in our journey toward the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,’ opposition leader Bill Shorten and opposition indigenous affairs spokesman Shayne Neumann said.
Ms Bandler is survived by her daughter, Lilon Gretl.