Noel Pearson, Founder and Director of the Cape York Partnership, on how – together – the smallest voices will fix our greatest challenges. Noel passionately argues for constitutional recognition and a First Nations Voice to parliament in the inaugural Australia Speaks address at the National Museum of Australia, on 17 March 2021.
Australia Speaks 17 Mar 2021
It's Time for True Constitutional Recognition
Noel Pearson comes from the Guugu Yimidhirr community of Hopevale on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland. For many years he has campaigned on behalf of First Nations peoples. Noel is one of Australia’s most influential Indigenous lawyers and activists.
Noel is the founder of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, an organisation promoting the economic and social development of Cape York. He is also an Advisor for the Cape York Partnership, an Indigenous policy reform and leadership organisation dedicated to empowering Cape York Indigenous people.
Noel is Chairman of Good to Great Schools Australia, developed by the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy. It is responsible for delivering significant improvements in literacy and numeracy.
Noel’s goal is to enable Cape York’s Indigenous people to have the capacity to choose the life they have reason to value by reinstating the rights of Aboriginal people to take responsibility for their lives. As a land rights activist, Noel Pearson has been involved in many key Indigenous issues including as a member of the Indigenous Negotiating Team during the drafting of the Native Title Act in 1993.
He also participated in the drafting of the Cape York Heads of Agreement. This historic agreement ensured an effective cooperative platform between Indigenous, conservation, mining and pastoral interests in Cape York.