The Passing of a Land Rights Champion

15 December, 2010

The Passing of a Land Rights Champion

December 15, 2010

Statement from Sydney Newcastle Regional Councillor Roy Ah-See

NSWALC Councillor for the Sydney/ Newcastle region, Roy Ah-See, has expressed his sadness at the recent passing of Rick Griffiths.

Rick's sudden passing sent shock waves through the entire Aboriginal land rights movement of New South Wales, and in particular, the Newcastle region.

Councillor Ah-See said he was devastated to hear the news, and said Aboriginal NSW had lost a true soldier.

"Rick will certainly be missed by the many that regarded him as a brother and a true friend.

"Rick's work in our region over the years literally has no equal, and his memory will live in the hearts of those he's touched," Mr Ah-See said.

"I want to send my deepest condolences to the Griffiths family who've lost a brave Aboriginal warrior."

Rick had a hand in bringing about many advancements and improvements to Aboriginal people in the Newcastle region.

His work in establishing the Aboriginal Home Care Pilot Program, important reform within the Mindaribba LALC and the lasting change he implemented during his time spent at ATSIC are just a few on a long list of achievements.

"If I could achieve even half of what Rick has over the years, I'd leave black politics a very happy man," Councillor Ah-See said.

"He was an inspirational speaker, someone I looked up to and respected and I'll always remember his impassioned and hardline activism.

"Vitally for our people, he never pulled a punch.

"Rick was an important man in my life, a loving father to his family, a brother and son.

"He'll be missed, respected, honoured and thought of for years to come, Mr Ah-See said.

"Rest in peace Uncle."

Funeral details:

Tuesday 21 December
1pm at the Maitland Town Hall
High Street, Maitland NSW
Dress: Colourful - at the request of the Griffiths family

Media Contact: Chris Munro 0438 760 242


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.