Directors and staff of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern, today paid tribute to our former Director and Patron, Uncle Sol Bellear who has passed away.

A Bundjalung man from Mullumbimby, Uncle Sol has been working for our people for over five decades since he was involved in the very first community controlled organisations that were set up in Redfern. To look at Uncle Sol’s life is to see the contemporary history of Aboriginal rights, land rights and politics.

Among his many roles, he was the inaugural Chair of the Aboriginal Legal Service, Chair of the Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern, founding member of the Aboriginal Housing Company and served as Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) in the 1990s.

Sol Bellear was a Director and Patron of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern from our beginnings in 2008 until last year. His wise words, sound advice and generosity guided the Centre throughout these years and his memory will live on in the young people who walk through our gates every day.

Today we fly our flags at half mast as we honour his contribution to our people and to the NCIE. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.