12th December, 2017

NACCHO Tribute to Sol Bellear AM Aboriginal Activist

Press release

NACCHO Chair John Singer speaking on behalf of all the 143 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services throughout Australia said he was saddened to hear of the untimely passing of one of the nation's leading spokespeople on Aboriginal health issues, Mr Sol Bellear AM.

Sol was a respected elder, friend, lifetime Aboriginal activist, a co-founder and Chair of Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern and a recently appointed NACCHO board member.

“We would like to record our sincere gratitude and admiration for Sol’s service to our nation and communities, and tender our profound sympathy to his family and community in their bereavement, Mr Singer said.

Sol Bellear a Bundjalung man from Mullumbimby was also the first chair of the Aboriginal Legal Service when it was founded in the early 1970s.

In 1990 Sol became a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), where he served as deputy chair before stepping down in 1994. Throughout his career he advocated a philosophy of community control, self-reliance and independence, attributes that would be vital for the survival of ACCHO’s over the decades.

Mr. Singer said Sol Bellear was an inspiration to everyone involved with or interested in Aboriginal issues and specifically Indigenous health. He was admired and respected leader who served his community for nearly 50 years.

" Sol was a tireless worker for his people," Mr Singer said.

"He travelled all over Australia and the world championing the cause of Indigenous Australians as we have had historically some of worst health outcomes in the western world.

"He was a fearless advocate not afraid to take on politicians and bureaucracies.

"And he certainly was a man of great compassion and commitment to improving the health of his Redfern Community and all Indigenous Australians."

"Sol Bellear leaves an important legacy that must be carried on by the board of NACCHO and all our members if indigenous Australians are to ever enjoy health services and standards that other Australians take for granted," Mr Singer concluded.

You can follow John Singer on Twitter @NACCHOChair and you can follow Donnella Mills @NACCHODepChair

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NACCHO Media contact Julian Fitzgerald 0413 982 224.