Prominent Aboriginal Australian lawyer and academic Noel Pearson presented the 2011 Griffith Lecture at the Queensland Conservatorium on October 25.
Mr Pearson discussed the topic ‘Indigenous Australians are coming to their Meiji moment: How to pursue development and keep their culture’ at last Tuesday’s event.
The Meiji period refers to the late 19th/early 20th centuries in Japan when it had to redefine its place in a broader world.
Mr Pearson joined a prestigious list of presenters of the annual lecture, established by Griffith University in 2003.
The land rights activist and founder of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership is a prominent advocate for Indigenous equality and education.
He has been strongly involved in campaigning for the rights of Cape York Aboriginal people and played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Cape York Land Council in 1990.
He also worked on both native title cases including the historic WIK decision. The resulting High Court decision is recognised as one of the most important native title cases in Australian history.
Throughout the past decade, he has been involved in many key Indigenous issues including, as a member of the Indigenous Negotiating Team during the drafting of the Native Title Act in 1993.
The Cape York Institute was established in July 2004 as an independent policy and leadership organisation. The Institute champions reform in Indigenous economic and social policies and supports the development of current and future Cape York leaders.