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January 27, 2022

Byron Council backs naming sports field after Bob Bellear

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Byron Council wants to honour Bob Bellear by naming the North Ocean Shores sports fields after him. (supplied).
Byron Council wants to honour Bob Bellear by naming the North Ocean Shores sports fields after him. (supplied).

Byron Shire Council is proposing the North Ocean Shores sports field be named the Bob Bellear Sports Field in honour of Australia’s first Indigenous judge, Robert (Bob) William Bellear who was raised in Billinudgel.

After considering 17 suggestions put forward by the community the Byron Shire Council has selected Bob Bellear as its preference.

Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson said Bob Bellear was truly an outstanding individual and his contribution to the nation, let alone our local area, is worthy of recognition and remembrance.

‘Bob was born in 1944 and he attended local schools and was an accomplished rugby player representing Mullumbimby High School and was in  the Australian Navy representative team,” Mayor Richardson said.

‘Bob Bellear was an inspirational leader, establishing the Aboriginal Housing Corporation in Sydney in 1972 and was a director of the Aboriginal Medical Service and the Aboriginal Legal Service.

‘He was appointed as an Assisting Counsel to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1987 and was the first Indigenous person to be appointed to any court in Australia in 1993.

‘He was a judge of the District Court of NSW until his passing in 2005,” Mayor Richardson said.

Members of the public are invited to comment on the proposal to name the North Ocean Shores sports field the Bob Bellear Sports Field.

The closing date for submissions is 21 September 2017.

Information is available at www.byron.nsw.gov.au/public-exhibition or call Nikki Bourke on 6626 7086.

Submissions can be made at [email protected]byron.nsw.gov.au.

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