Australia is a poorer place today with the passing of Ron Castan , AM, QC in Melbourne this morning (Thursday 21st October, 1999).
Ron played a huge part in many of the most important cases involving indigenous issues in Australia over the last 30 years. He became the founding Honorary Secretary of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service in 1971 and has been a prominent member of the Koorie heritage Trust in recent years.
Mabo, Nookambah, the Alcoa / Guindij Mara case, Wik, the Yorta Yorta Federal Court appeal and a host of other historic matters were graced by Ron's involvement. He also played a huge role in trying to minimise damage to Native Title during the Howard government's 1998 amendment fiasco. In 1991 he co-chaired the national inquiry into racist violence.
Philanthropic trusts established by the Castan family have also been of great benefit to many Indigenous Australians. You can find out a little more about him at: http://www.johntooheychambers.com.au/html/castan.htm
Ron Castan was a truly great Australian. His quite sudden passing at the age of 59 is a great loss to all.
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