New honour for Jaara elder Uncle Brien Nelson

At a ceremony in Melbourne last week senior Jaara elder Uncle Brien Nelson was included in the Victorian Aboriginal honour roll.

For many years Uncle Brien has been one of this community’s most distinguished cultural leaders. In 2009 he was made an honorary associate of Latrobe University, for which he has made a number of films with Gerry Gill, who described him at the time as a ‘pre-eminent Aboriginal leader, who has made an extraordinary lifelong contribution to the recognition of indigenous culture and reconciliation.’ Uncle Brien’s response was a characteristic mixture of eloquence and self effacement, including his summing up: ‘I never thought I’d be honoured by anything or anyone. I was happy just to be there.’  This time he was too ill to attend the ceremony, but his daughter played a video in which he said, in the same spirit: ‘Thank you for taking the time to listen to a person’s dreams.’

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