Sorry Business – Passing of Gomeroi Elder Uncle Lyall Munro Senior

22 May 2020

Sorry Business – Passing of Gomeroi Elder Uncle Lyall Munro Senior

NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) and the Land Rights network mourns the passing of Gomeroi Elder Lyall Munro Senior.

Uncle Lyall was a dedicated and life-long member of the Land Rights Movement, who spent his lifetime advocating for the rights of all Aboriginal people

He called for independence, self-reliance, and the social rights necessary for all Aboriginal people to share in society: the rights to education, legal services, medical services, and a decent standard of living.

Uncle Lyall was at the forefront in Moree when Charles Perkins’ Freedom Ride drove into the town in 1965, where the Freedom Riders successfully challenged a local racial ban on Aboriginal children being able to swim in the-then Moree Swimming Baths.

There is a famous photo of a prominent land rights march through Sydney City in the early 1980’s. You can’t miss Uncle Lyall, proudly leading the mob, marching out in front in his plaid trousers. He was a leader who stood tall and campaigned for all Aboriginal people.

He helped establish the NSW Aboriginal Legal Service, actively contributed to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and was awarded the NSW Law and Justice Foundation’s Aboriginal Justice Award in 2013, to name just a few of his achievements.

Uncle Lyall and his late wife Maggie Munro cared for and mentored many young Aboriginal people in addition to rearing their own 12 children, and actively advocated for access to genuine employment, education, and a life of choices, free from discrimination.

NSWALC Chair Anne Dennis said that with the sad passing of Uncle Lyall, we have lost another Land Rights Legend, and his dedication to Land Rights will be one of his greatest legacies.

“Uncle Lyall Munro Senior was deeply involved with Land Rights for decades and his commitment to his people remained constant, focused and dedicated for his entire life,” she said.

“I have had the honour and pleasure of knowing and working with Lyall Munro Snr over the past 30 years. His perseverance in fighting for justice has benefitted Aboriginal people not only in his local community, but across NSW.”

“He was a true Black leader. On behalf of the Land Rights network, I send my deepest condolences to the Munro family.”

Details regarding his funeral service are being formalised by his family.