One of the key figures behind the campaign to end discrimination against Aboriginal people under Australia’s constitution, Faith Bandler-Mussing, will be farewelled with a state funeral in Sydney today (Tuesday).
A special community remembrance service and celebration of the life of Ms Bandler, who was born at Tumbulgum in the Tweed Valley, will also be held in the riverside village tomorrow (Wednesday 25 February).
The celebration will be held in the park named in her honour, Faith Bandler-Mussing Park at Tumbulgum at 5.30pm and organised by the Tumbulgum community. Organisers have asked those attending to bring flowers for a ‘riverside floral tribute’.
Ms Bandler was one of the nation’s leading human rights campaigners and was a central figure in the 1967 referendum vote that removed discriminatory passages against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from the constitution.
She also campaigned for the rights of South Sea Islanders who were taken to Australia as cheap labour, or forced to work unpaid, for the sugar industry in the 19th century – her own father among them.
Throughout her life Ms Bandler was a tireless campaigner for human rights and social justice.
She received the Human Rights Medal and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, among many awards for her work.
Ms Bandler died on February 13, aged 96.
Her funeral will be held in the Great Hall at the University of Sydney at 11am on Tuesday.
The event is open to the public.