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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 March 2019) . . Page.. 681 ..


Tuesday, 19 March 2019

MADAM SPEAKER (Ms J Burch) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Uncle Carl Brown

Motion of condolence

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Social Inclusion and Equality, Minister for Tourism and Special Events and Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment) (10.01): I move:

That this Assembly expresses its deep regret at the passing of Uncle Carl Brown, who was a proud Ngunnawal Elder, and tenders its profound sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues in their bereavement.

In expressing our deep regret at the recent death of Ngunnawal elder Kingswell Carl Brown, I rise this morning to bring forward this condolence motion. Known to many in the community as Uncle Carl, he was a quiet and proud Ngunnawal man with a strong presence. Through diligence and determination, Uncle Carl changed how many of our ACT government directorates conduct their work with respect to Canberra’s traditional custodians.

Uncle Carl was born in Yass and lived much of his early life on missions within Yass before moving to Canberra, aged 17, to look for work. After working in construction for many years, Uncle Carl turned his skills to working with the ACT government’s genealogy project, which he said had helped him to better understand his family’s history.

Through the project, he found that his father’s grandfather was a convict from England named Tom Brown, who married Clara Woodhouse, a Ngunnawal woman from Yass. This link-up with the ACT government fuelled his passion to share his rich Ngunnawal heritage and to impart his learnings to others.

Uncle Carl was engaged with government over many years, and his wisdom impacted a range of government policies and undertakings. He was insistent that Ngunnawal country needed to be burned in a more sensitive manner, especially around heritage places. As a result of his advocacy, we now have cultural burns and an Aboriginal fire officer within ACT government.

He also mentored Aboriginal staff within the ACT parks and conservation service for many years. As part of his connection to country, Uncle Carl and his daughter Tina performed a number of smoking ceremonies at public events for the government, including on a section of the light rail route in 2017.


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