• Yothu Yindi Foundation chairman and Gumatj clan leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu speaking about land rights (AAP)Source: AAP
Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM has received the highest academic award for his work to advance self-determination and secure land rights of Australia’s First Peoples at Garma Festival in northeast Arnhem Land.
By
Andrea Booth

Source:
NITV News
3 Aug 2015 - 11:31 AM  UPDATED 3 Aug 2015 - 12:31 PM

Gumatj leader and Yothu Yindi Foundation chairman Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his work to advance Indigenous rights by the University of Melbourne during a ceremony at Garma Festival in northeast Arnhem Land over the weekend.

Dr Yunupingu told those who attended the ceremony at Garma Festival, which celebrates culture and provides a platform to make decisions for a better future, that he was honoured to receive the doctorate.

"Each year, the Garma gathering reminds us of our duty to pursue knowledge, to discover, to learn and to teach, so that every individual can reach their full potential"

"Education is at the heart of everything we do," he said. "Each year, the Garma gathering reminds us of our duty to pursue knowledge, to discover, to learn and to teach, so that every individual can reach their full potential."

University of Melbourne Provost Professor Margaret Sheil said that Dr Yunupingu had “profoundly advanced the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia”.

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Professor Sheil said that the university’s highest academic honour was to recognise in particular his work to secure human and land rights of First Peoples.

"Dr Yunupingu has received the award of the Doctor of Laws honoris causa in recognition of the fire he has lit that will blaze ever brighter until Indigenous people secure their self-evident rights" 

"Dr Yunupingu has received the award of the Doctor of Laws honoris causa in recognition of the fire he has lit that will blaze ever brighter until Indigenous people secure their self-evident rights to property, their own way of life, economic independence and control over their lives and the future of their children," she said.

Professor Glenn Bowes, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and Professor Ian Anderson, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Engagement) attended the formal ceremony.