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State MP visits Lismore to honour local Bundjalung elder


5 October 2004
NSW State MP Linda Burney will officially launch the book Talk Softly, Listen Well, by Bundjalung elder Charles Moran and his wife Glennys Moran, at Southern Cross University tomorrow.

The book details Charles’ family history, including his early life in the Northern Rivers region and describes how he survived the clash of cultural expectations.

Charles is renowned for his work to gain justice for sufferers of asbestos mining related diseases, in particular for the Indigenous workers at the Baryulgil Asbestos Mine near Grafton.

He was instrumental in gaining funding for the continuation of the Koori Mail and remains involved in the development of better health and education programs for Indigenous Australians.

Charles said he wrote the book ‘Talk Softly, Listen Well’ because he had come to a settled place in his life. He wanted to share some of the history of his life, and the knowledge he gained along the way with others - especially young Bundjalung people.

“I’ve come to a spot where I’ve settled down and I wanted to share some of what I learnt along the way,” he said.

“I grew up in Pretty Gully, about 70km’s from Casino. Things were hard in the 30’s and 40’s. But life is about learning. Every day I learn something new, and that’s how I got through the tough times.”

Charles was educated in cultural ways by an uncle who was amongst the last generation of men to be initiated on the Far North Coast of New South Wales.

Each year Charles invites students from SCU’s Indigenous Studies course to spend a day at his property near Casino where he shares with them some of his stories and knowledge.

State MP Linda Burney, who is flying to Lismore to launch the book, worked with Charles, through the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, to develop a national model Aboriginal Studies which became compulsory for future trainee teachers.

Charles says of his struggles; “In my life I had to survive in the Australian bush under difficult circumstance and in tough times. I learnt early I could only really count on myself. I had to be self-reliant and resourceful. I had to find my own way.”

Book Launch
When: 3.00pm,
Where: Gnibi College, Southern Cross University
Speakers: Charles Moran and his wife Glennys Moran
Vice-Chancellor Paul Clark
NSW State MP Linda Burney

Photo Opportunity: Photos with Charles, Glennys, and Linda Burney will be possible at 12.30pm

Media Contact – Kasturi Shanahan 0439 858 057 or 6620 3144