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The Cybec Foundation

Launch of the Koiki (Eddie) Mabo Trust


Roberta Sykes, Roger Riordan, Bonita Mabo & the late Sally Riordan at the launch of the Koiki (Eddie) Mabo Trust Fund.

[This is the speech Roger Riordan gave to launch the Koiki (Eddie) Mabo Trust at a Graduation Ceremony at the University of Newcastle on April 30th, 1999]


This fund is our way of saying sorry; sorry to you all for the part I fear my ancestors played in driving yours from their homes, sorry to the stolen generation for the appalling treatment you received, sorry to you, Dr Sykes for all your suffering, and sorry to you all for the mean spirited and short sighted policies of our Governments. For all these wrongs Sally and I offer you our heartfelt apologies.

$200,000 may sound a lot of money, but it will yield only about $10,000 a year. This won’t go far, but we hope it will enable a few of you, who would not otherwise have been able to do so, to complete your courses.

We hope, too that when you are down it will remind you of the courage and tenacity with which Koiki Mabo fought for the rights of his people.

The way ahead will not be easy, but if you show the same courage you will get there in the end. We wish you every success in your careers, and we hope we can work together to make Australia a better, and more just, home for us all.

Thank you.


Sally and Roger Riordan.

[Sally died unexpectedly of a heart attack just one week later on 6.5.99 in Reading, UK]

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