The Bennelong Society
is as a conservative think-tank
dedicated to Indigenous Australian
affairs. The society was named after the Eora
, who served as an interlocutor
between the Indigenous Australian
cultures, both in Sydney
and in the United Kingdom
almost from the start of British settlement of Australia
It is affiliated with conservative commentators in debates on Indigenous affairs.
The society was established to:
- promote debate and analysis of Aboriginal policy in Australia, both contemporary and historical;
- inquire into the causes of the present appalling plight of many contemporary Aboriginal people;
- seek to influence public opinion so that the prospects for amelioration of the condition of these people are improved;
- encourage research into the history of the interaction between Australia's Indigenous people and the Europeans and others who settled in Australia from 1788 onwards, and of the ideas through which this interaction was interpreted by both Europeans and Aborigines;
- make available to the Australian community, particularly through the Internet, the results of these activities.
The Bennelong Society's Website was officially launched by Senator the Hon. John Herron with a speech at Parliament House, Canberra on 15 May 2001.
The Society holds an annual conference and has awarded the Bennelong Medal
. Recipients of the medal have been:
- 2002: Professor Boni Robertson, who had chaired the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women's Task Force on Violence. Citation: "awarded for her leadership in the difficult area of family violence and her courage in pursuing actions by both State and Federal governments to ameliorate this grave problem."
- 2003: Dulcie and Dorothy Wilson, members of the Ngarrindjeri community of South Australia, and significant dissidents in the Hindmarsh Island bridge controversy. Citation: "Hindmarsh Island is in the end a story of heroism. It is about the courage of the dissident women who saw their culture being abused and decided to do something about it."
- 2004: Pastor Paul Albrecht AM, Director of the Finke River (Hermannsburg) Mission from 1970 to 1998. Citation: "He was awarded the Bennelong Medal in recognition of his long and dedicated service as missionary and translator to the Aboriginal people of Central Australia, and as wise councillor to all Australians on Aboriginal Affairs."
- 2005: Warren Mundine, vice-president of the Australian Labor Party. Citation: "Warren has been a brave advocate for change. His proposal to change the way community owned land is controlled was aimed quite squarely at improving the wealth and well-being of his people."
- 2006: Dr Susan Gordon, AM, Chair of the National Indigenous Council and a Western Australian magistrate. Citation: for her devotion and commitment to the well-being of Aboriginal Australians