Memorial Event to Celebrate Uncle Ray Jackson


On 21 April 2018, a memorial event to celebrate Uncle Ray Jackson’s extraordinary social justice work and legacy was held at the Redfern Community Centre. The late Uncle Ray was President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, Laureate of the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic (2013) and recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters (2016) from Macquarie University. Uncle Ray was first and foremost an indefatigable fighter for social justice across multiple fronts, including for those in prison, for the victims and families of Indigenous deaths in custody, for the victims of police violence, and for refugees and asylum seekers incarcerated in Australia’s domestic and offshore immigration detention centres.

The event opened with a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony, and included speeches by his daughters, Carolyne and Francine Jackson, and his granddaughter, Madika. The memorial event brought together a wide cross-section of speakers including Indigenous Elders, Indigenous families of death-in-custody victims, community activists, lawyers, forensic pathologists, prison abolitionists, feminists, academics, students, queer activists, human rights advocates, families, media representatives, trade unionists, and many others from all walks of life. It is a tribute to the all-encompassing reach of Uncle Ray’s social justice vision that such a diversity of speakers came to the event.

The event also included an exhibition of Uncle Ray’s posters and T-shirts which, collectively, evidenced the social and political history of his social justice activism and work. The memorable event concluded with the unveiling of a commemorative poster celebrating ‘a people’s history of Ray Jackson.’

Ray Jackson: an inspirational fighter for justice

Photo of Vikki Road delivering a speech at an outdoor event. Clear sky and trees visible in the background.

Vickie Roach is a Yuin woman, a survivor of the Stolen Generation and a writer. She gave this speech at Ray Jackson’s memorial celebrations at Redfern Community Centre on April 21

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