The passion, ambition and tireless work of Deadlys’ founder, Gavin Jones, had been remembered as politicians, friends and former colleagues pay tribute.
The 47-year-old, best known for his work as the founder and director of the annual Deadly Awards, was found dead at his Goulburn farm on Saturday.
In Parliament House today, Indigenous Senator Nova Peris made a passionate address in his memory, saying he will be remembered for his commitment to the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“Gavin leaves behind an impressive legacy and will always be remembered as a man who made a huge contribution to his community and helped to change the fabric of Australian society, providing successful nation-wide platforms for Indigenous Australians to celebrate their achievements, survival, pride and culture,” she said.
Her remarks were echoed online, where Indigenous Advisory Council Chairman Warren Mundine described Mr Jones as a “great man and trailblazer”.
Musician Dan Sultan and other prominent members of the Indigenous community also paid tribute.
During her Senate address, Senator Peris also acknowledged Mr Jones’ dedication to the Indigenous media sector, referencing a recent decision by the government to axe funding for the Vibe project.
“This funding cut came despite a recent audit which gave his ventures a glowing report and brought to an end the entire Vibe project, which Gavin spent two decades building,” she said.
The audit, referred to by Senator Peris, was conducted by KPMG and commissioned by Australia’s previous Labor government.
The current Government has refused to release the report to NITV, saying it contains confidential information.
However, it is clear that the Government cut millions of dollars in funding to the Deadly Vibe group this year following the KPMG report.
Former Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma spoke with the ABC’s Lindy Kerin about the response to funding cuts.
“He found it very difficult to understand why he got notification just a couple of weeks before the end of the financial year to say that it would be cut on the 30th of June,” he said.