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Batchelor Institute would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereign people of the lands on which our campuses are located. As we share our knowledge, teaching and learning and engage in research practices within this Institution and/or conduct business with a variety of external agencies and organisations, we must always pay respect to the sovereign status of our hosts. May their Ancestors always be remembered and honoured, their Elders listened to and respected, all members treated with dignity and fairness — in the present and well into the future.

We also acknowledge and pay respect to the knowledge embedded forever with our hosts, custodianship of country and the binding relationship they have with the land. Batchelor Institute extends this acknowledgment and expression of respect to all sovereign custodians — past, present and emerging. By expressing Acknowledgement of Country we encourage all to extend and practice respect to all First Nations people wherever their lands are located.

Please read this important information
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Users are warned that there may be words and descriptions which may be culturally sensitive and which might not normally be used in certain public or community contexts. Terms and annotations, which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was written, may be considered inappropriate today in some circumstances.
Deceased persons
Users of the website should be aware that, in some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, seeing images of deceased persons in photographs, film and books or hearing them in recordings may cause sadness or distress and in some cases, offend against strongly held cultural prohibitions.
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Materials included in this website may be subject to access conditions imposed by Indigenous communities and/or depositors. Users are advised that access to some materials may be subject to these terms and conditions which the Institute is required to maintain
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Vale Dr Bush-Blanasi
16 November 2023
4 minute read
Dr Bush-Blanasi
Dr Bush-Blanasi. Photo Credit: Glenn Campbell

Batchelor Institute’s Council and staff would like to mark the passing of Northern Land Council (NLC) Chairman, Dr Bush-Blanasi. We extend our sincere and deep sympathy to Dr Bush-Blanasi’s family, friends, colleagues and Community.

Born and raised in the community of Wugularr (Beswick), Dr Bush-Blanasi was a powerful change-maker and fighter for the rights of First Nations people. Dr Bush-Blanasi was prominent in Aboriginal land rights particularly through the NLC where he served nine terms, including four consecutive terms as Chairman. He also played a pivotal role in securing Sea Country rights for traditional owners in Arnhem Land, and spearheaded historic changes to the NT’s Aboriginal land rights laws.

Dr Bush-Blanasi was also an elected representative of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and was a long-serving board member of the North Australian Indigenous Land & Sea Management Alliance, Imparja and Northern Building Consultants. He was a founding member of the Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists, Aboriginal Sea Company, Aboriginal Housing Northern Territory, Top End Aboriginal Bush Broadcasting Association and the Northern Territory Aboriginal Investment Corporation.

As an education institution we also recognise his passionate support of two way learning through the Learning on Country Program which allows Aboriginal children living in remote communities a better opportunity to navigate the world while keeping strong in their culture. We would also like to recognise his leadership, support and advocacy for a Voice to Parliament. This leadership was very much appreciated by Batchelor Institute and our Chair, Ms Pat Anderson AO.

Noting his decades long service to First Nations peoples, particularly in the Northern Territory, Dr Bush-Blanasi was awarded an honorary doctorate from Charles Darwin University earlier this year and was also recognised as the 2023 NT Australian of the Year.

To mark the passing of this strong leader, Batchelor Institute’s flags are flying at half-mast for a week (returning to full mast on the morning of 22 November) and will again be lowered to half-mast on the day of Dr Bush-Blanasi’s funeral. We anticipate sending senior representation from the Institute to the funeral, but will wait to hear about these arrangements, and for guidance about the family’s preferences.

Vale Dr Bush-Blanasi