WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Aboriginal elder Ned Cheedy, who worked to preserve the law and culture of his Yindjibarndi people in the Pilbara of Western Australia, has died aged 105.
Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has paid tribute to Mr Cheedy, calling him a remarkable Australian who helped improve the lives of Aboriginal people in his Yindjibarndi homeland and beyond.
Last year Mr Cheedy was awarded the prestigious NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to caring for Yindjibarndi law, culture, language and the future of his people.
Born in 1907 at Hooley Station in the Pilbara, Mr Cheedy became a skilled stockman and windmill man on the station before moving to Roebourne Reserve so his children could receive an education.
He spent years teaching young people about his country and the importance of education, became a lay preacher at the Pilbara Aboriginal Church and travelled across WA helping families affected by alcoholism.
Mr Cheedy, who died on Sunday, was a cultural teacher, custodian and elder in his community for more than 20 years, teaching people about the land and its stories through books and films.
Ms Macklin extended her condolences on Monday to Mr Cheedy’s family, friends and community.