The Bennelong Society was a think tank dedicated to Indigenous Australian affairs. A declining number of members forced the closure of the society which was one of the most outspoken voices on indigenous issues. The society was named after an Eora man, Bennelong who in 1788 served as a British Government/Indigenous Australian go-between from the start of the British settlement in 1788. The society was one of a number of groups promoted by the political activist Ray Evans.
Where to go for Bennelong Papers?
Important books and papers published by the Society over the last decade have been transferred to the Quadrant website. For those who wish for better Aboriginal policy, the Board recommends they contribute to Quadrant.
Visit Quadrant's Website
Aims of The Society
The Bennelong 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.
- President: Hon. Dr Gary Johns
- Secretary/Treasurer: Des Moore
- Wesley Aird
- Professor Jim Franklin
- Anthony Dillon
- Ray Evans
- Rev. Steve Etherington PhD
- Dr Stephanie Jarrett
- Douglas Meagher, E.D., Q.C.
- Jenness Warin
- Bill Kerley
- 2002: Professor Boni Robertson - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 Sue Gordon - for her devotion and commitment to the well-being of Aboriginal Australians
- 2007: Louis Nowra - for his courage in writing about Aboriginal men's violence towards Aboriginal women in his book, Bad Dreaming
- 2008: Hon. Mal Brough - for bringing hope to the women and children living in remote Aboriginal communities, for a future free from violence and appalling abuse
- 2009: Bess Price - for her forthright defence of the Northern Territory National Emergency Response and her challenge to "white students and cranky Kooris and Murris from down south who know nothing about Aboriginal people and who hate whitefellas
Office Bearers 2010-2011
Other Board Members
The Bennelong Medal
Over the years the society operated they awarded medals to people that served indigenous affairs well at their annual conference. Recipients of these medals were: