John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, is due to speak in the Byron Shire again this week.
Mr Assange and his family have close connections to the Northern Rivers, with the acclaimed journalist having spent part of his childhood in the hinterland.
His father has dedicated much of the past decade to fighting for Mr Assange’s freedom and has spoken as part of sell-out public forums in the Byron Shire at least three times, with support from independent local media organisations The Echo and Bay FM community radio.
This May, Mr Shipton is on tour down the east coast again and started with a public address in the Nimbin Town Hall as part of MardiGrass festivities.
Mr Shipton spoke in Brisbane on World Press Freedom Day (May 3) and marched with the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance on behalf of his son, a Queensland-born member of the MEAA, before addressing a rally in West End.
Northern Rivers residents can hear Mr Shipton in person at the Courthouse Hotel this Tuesday, May 4, from 7pm as part of the monthly Turning Point Talks.
Peace advocates Ciaron O’Reilly and Melbourne4WikiLeaks member Jacob Grech will join Mr Shipton on the panel, while local regional journalists Mandy Nolan (The Echo) and Mia Armitage (Bay FM’s Community Newsroom) will introduce and facilitate the discussion.
On Wednesday, May 5, Mr Shipton will speak in Lismore at the space in front of the gallery in Keen Street from 1pm with support from Lismore Mayor Vanessa Ekins and Councillor Darlene Cook.
A midday rally at Byron’s Railway Park on Friday, May 7, will end Mr Shipton’s North Coast stint and will also feature Byron Shire Councillor and former journalist Sarah Ndiaye.
Lismore City Councillors Ekins and Cook and Byron Shire Cr Ndiaye have all supported Mr Assange at a local government level.