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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 98 14:59:15 CST
From: SISIS@envirolink.org (S.I.S.I.S.)
Subject: Oz: Farewell Theo Kearing - a Nyungar Warrior
Article: 28433

From: Jim & Yvonne Duffield <staffy@omen.com.au>
Organization: Settlers for Indigenous Australia
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 21:09:41 +0800
Subject: (Fwd) Farewell Theo Kearing - a Nyungar Warrior

From: Deaths In Custody Watch Commitee (WA) Inc. <dicwc@omen.net.au>
Organization: Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (WA) Inc

Farewell Theo Kearing - a Nyungar Warrior

Press Release, Deaths In Custody Watch Commitee (WA), 17 February 1998

27 Brewer St, Perth 6000, Ph: 61 (0)8 9328-5316
Fax: 61 (0)8 9228-8183 or 61 (0)8 9227-1813
E-mail: dicwc@omen.net.au
Webpage: http://www.omen.net.au/~dicwc

Tuesday, 17 February 1998

It was with shock that the Deaths In Custody Watch Committee received the news today of the passing of one of its members, Mr Theo Kearing, a Bindjareb Nyungar man.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife, Gloria and their family. They have lost a wonderful partner and father.

The Nyungar Community has lost a leader in Indigenous presence in not just Western Australia, but the world with his life focus on the culture of his people through the world renowned Bindjareb Midar dance group.

Theo was a young man in his early 40s, and his passing sets another icon for the demonstrable bad health of Indigenous Australians since invasion, that western health practice seems incapable of addressing.

The Watch Committee has had some very close associations with Theo over the years and his determination, wit, caring attitude and focus on the culture of his people and the importance of its transmission to all Australians, has been inspirational to both Wadjilla and Indigenous people alike. There are many people in this nation, and throughout the world, whose first experience of Indigenous Australian culture was through the work of Theo with Bindjareb Midar.

We know that Theo had a dream of memorialising the massacre of his ancestors in 1834 by the colonists. It was Theo and Gloria who were moved to commence the Back to Pinjarra day that has grown in strength over the years to become a cultural celebration of reconciliation and co-existence, in memory of those Nyungar people who were massacred close to Theo's family home.

Yet we also know that the withdrawal of funding to his community as a part of recent government cuts to ATSIC, and therefore some 50+ South-West Nyungar communities, had placed great stress on Theo. The inability to grow his dream, was a great concern to him. It blurred the future for all people in the region, and Theo knew this only too well.

Farewell friend, may your songlines be a powerful vision for all children, but especially for your family and the people of the Bindjareb Nyungar community. Your life has assured the strength of many tomorrows.

Contact: Glenn Shaw - 61 (0)8 9265 6960