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Australia State funeral held for freedom rider Uncle Lyall Munro Senior

10:50  11 july  2020
10:50  11 july  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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An Indigenous hero of the famous Moree Freedom Ride will be honoured with a state funeral . The funeral for Moree elder and champion of Indigenous rights Lyall Munro Senior , who passed away in May, will be held next week.

The state funeral of Kamilaroi elder and Aboriginal leader Uncle Lyall Munro Senior will be held at 10am on Saturday, and streamed online here. Munro was a fixture of life in Moree. He was a direct descendant of the victims and survivors of the Myall Creek massacre and campaigned for the

a man wearing a suit and hat: Uncle Lyall Munro Senior worked tirelessly to bring about effective change for Aboriginal people. (Supplied) © Provided by ABC NEWS Uncle Lyall Munro Senior worked tirelessly to bring about effective change for Aboriginal people. (Supplied)

Imagine a world where the colour of your skin stopped you from entering the local swimming pool.

Discrimination of that kind is unthinkable today, and Uncle Lyall Munro Senior helped change that.

The respected Komeroi elder, who died in May, was today honoured at a state funeral in his hometown of Moree in northern New South Wales.

His son, Lyall Munro Junior, told the 650 people gathered that his father fought for better housing, access to education, land rights and free legal counsel for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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The State Funeral for Komeroi Elder Lyall Munro Senior will be held in Moree this Saturday. Because of Coronavirus, only immediate family can attend Uncle Lyall ’s State Funeral . However, community members will be able to watch the entire service online from 10am on Saturday or watch at

The state funeral of Kamilaroi elder and Aboriginal leader Uncle Lyall Munro Senior will be held at 10am on Saturday, and streamed online here. Munro was a fixture of life in Moree. He was a direct descendant of the victims and survivors of the Myall Creek massacre and campaigned for the

"He was famous for arguing with anyone who stood in his way of achieving his dreams for Aboriginal people," Lyall Munro Junior said.

"Over his life he influenced some incredibly gifted people.

"Our family will continue to fight for the struggles of our people."

The ABC has permission from Uncle Lyall Munro Senior's family to include photographs and use his name in this article.

'An amazing Australian'

Born into a world of racial segregation in 1931, Uncle Lyall, a boy from Tinga, dedicated his life to his people.

He locked horns with prime ministers, advised leaders, and addressed international peace forums.

He helped establish the NSW Aboriginal Legal Service, rallied against the effects of asbestos mining on the North Coast, contributed to the royal commission into Indigenous deaths in custody, and fought tirelessly for housing for Aboriginal people.

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A NSW State Funeral Service for respected Gomeroi Elder Uncle Lyall Munro Senior will take place this Saturday, 11 July 2020 in Moree for his immediate family only. The event will be an important opportunity to honour his extraordinary legacy and contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

The state funeral of Kamilaroi elder and Aboriginal leader Uncle Lyall Munro Senior will be held at 10am on Saturday, and streamed online here. Munro was a fixture of life in Moree. He was a direct descendant of the victims and survivors of the Myall Creek massacre and campaigned for the

He was crucial in establishing a memorial at the site of the Myall Creek Massacre near Bingara where at least 28 Aboriginal people were killed in 1838.

Representing the NSW Premier today, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said Uncle Lyall was an "amazing Australian".

"His achievements were many and varied and every single one of them has made a real and tangible difference to his people in Moree and right across this country," Mr Marshall said.

"He led this country down the road to equality. We're still all travelling that road."

Riding for freedom

In 1965 Uncle Lyall joined the 'Freedom Rides' to raise awareness about racial segregation in rural towns.

The movement, now considered a watershed moment in national race relations, took him to Moree where he, alongside revered activist Charlie Perkins, protested against the exclusion of Aboriginal people from clubs in Walgett, swimming pools in Moree and Kempsey, and picture theatres in Bowraville.

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A NSW State Funeral Service for respected Komeroi (pronounced Gomeroi) Elder Uncle Lyall Munro Senior will take place this Saturday, 11 July 2020 in Moree for his immediate family only. The event will be an important opportunity to honour his extraordinary legacy and contribution to Aboriginal and

Who were the Freedom Riders ? a group of African American and white volunteers that rode interstate buses in protest of segregation. How did President Kennedy initially respond to the clash between white Southerners and the Freedom Riders ? He attempted to compromise and get both sides to calm

Reflecting on the freedom rides later, Uncle Lyall said:

"I really think Moree has set an example. People here now have come to realise that Aboriginal people should be treated on the same terms.

"When most of us kids got on that bus and went to the baths, I think it opened a lot of people's minds, it really created a point where white people started thinking if this type of thing is going on we're going to have to do something about the black people in this town."

Until his death Uncle Lyall remained passionate about the town of Moree.

There he served on the board of the hospital and held positions in numerous community organisations including Moree Aboriginal Sobriety House, Moree Local Aboriginal Land Council, and numerous housing organisations.

Uncle Lyall and his late wife Carmine had 12 children.

He is survived by nine children, 45 grandchildren, 122 great-grandchildren and 28 great-great-grandchildren.


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