31 May 2019
Statement from the National Museum of Australia
It is with great sadness that we learned about the passing of Dr William Jonas AM.
A Worimi man from the Karuah River area of New South Wales, Dr Jonas made an important contribution to the life of the National Museum of Australia, where he was Director from September 1996 to April 1999.
He was highly regarded by his colleagues for his support and leadership during the early development of the Museum on Acton Peninsula. He was also a strong advocate for the Friends of the Museum.
Dr Jonas went on to serve as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission from 1999 to 2004.
Dr Jonas was the first Indigenous person in Australia to receive a PhD.
In 1993 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his contribution to preserving Aboriginal culture and heritage.
Our thoughts are with Dr Jonas’s family and friends at this difficult time.