• "We'll probably be making a formal announcement soon about what's going to happen": Uncle Jack. (AAP)Source: AAP
Senior Victorian of the Year speaks to The Point about the blatant racism from taxi drivers that has left him stranded numerous times on the streets of Melbourne and Sydney.
By
Malarndirri McCarthy

Source:
The Point
14 Apr 2016 - 12:10 PM  UPDATED 14 Apr 2016 - 12:11 PM

At 73 years of age, Jack Charles is one of Australia's highest profile actors and passionate advocate for his people. But this morning he told me via phone from Melbourne, that he's "seething with anger."

"I get a bit downtrodden after incidents like this, the seething, the anger still there." he says.

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What's made Uncle Jack angry is the deep disrepect at being rejected again by a Melbourne taxi just as he was about to step into the back seat of the car in Flinders Street on Wednesday afternoon around 3pm.

Uncle Jack tells the story of what happended.

"My friend was going into the front seat of the cab, and I opened the back door. The driver turned and saw me and started to drive away."

The cab driver didn't get very far, he had to stop at the nearby set of lights, which allowed Uncle Jack the opportunity to step in front of the cab and take photos of the driver.

"These photos are for my lawyers. We'll probably be making a formal announcement soon about what's going to happen," says Uncle Jack.

Uncle Jack was born on Cummeragunja Mission on the Murray River and grew up in a boys' home in Box Hill in Melbourne.

He is widely respected as not only an Elder, but for his life long work in theatre, having established Australia's first Indigenous theatre company in 1971 in Melbourne along with the late Bob Maza.

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It's not the first time this 2015 Senior Victorian of the Year has had to experience such blatant racism.

In fact it's the fourth time he's spoken out about the racism meted out to him by taxi drivers in both Melbourne and Sydney in the past twelve months.

Uncle Jack's manager Patrice Capo-Greco says: "The last time it happened in Melbourne we got a phone call from the Victorian Premier's office and they wanted to express their support for Uncle Jack, and that they were sorry to hear about what happened especially after he'd received the award as 2015 Senior Australian."

Uncle Jack says he doesn't sleep well after such racist incidents, "in fact I hardly slept at all last night", then he adds: "But hey, I'm a resilient bloke," he tells The Point with a hint of a smile in his voice.

The taxi company has also been approached for comment.