Sorry Business – Passing of Rob Welsh

25 March 2022

NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) and the Land Rights network mourn the passing of Gomeroi and Murrawarri man Rob Welsh. Rob also had connections via his mother to the Anawin & Dunghutti people.

Rob devoted his life to empowering and uplifting his people through Land Rights, particularly within the Redfern community. Most notable for the Land Rights network, Rob was the Chairperson of the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC) for ten years. He remains MLALC’s longest-serving Chairperson.

He established the Redfern Aboriginal Authority (RAA) in 2005 with MLALC founding Chairperson Sol Bellear. The RAA united local Aboriginal community-controlled organisations with a strategic Aboriginal vision for a vibrant and multicultural area.

Rob also established a site management trainee program in cultural sites protection and rehabilitation.  One of the program graduates was current La Perouse LALC CEO, Chris Ingrey. He secured the repatriation of a number of Guringai people from UK and Australian museums, led Blackout Violence with Dixie Link-Gordon, and helped organise a healing journey for Kinchela Boys Home survivors back to the country where they were stolen as young boys. He was also a lifetime member of the Redfern All Blacks.

Sydney/Newcastle Region Councillor Abie Wright says Rob will be long remembered by his many friends, family and community.

“Rob leaves a legacy as a respected man who was committed to relationships, connections and partnerships. He utilised the power of these to uplift Aboriginal community controlled organisations and their ability to support and empower our people.

“I’m so grateful for Rob’s enduring contribution to our community. His strength will be sorely missed.

“On behalf of the Land Rights network, I send my deepest condolences Rob’s family at this very sad time.”

A funeral service will be held Friday 8th April at 11.30am along the edge of the Namoi River adjacent to the Donnelly Fields, Maitland Street, Gunnedah NSW.