Elders Watson and Pearson to sort out their differences

CRAIG L THOMSON

Noel Pearson arriving at the Sir Paul Hasluck Foundation annual lecture last night. Photo: Kasun Ubayasiri

Noel Pearson arrives at the Sir Paul Hasluck Foundation annual lecture. Photo: Kasun Ubayasiri

Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy elder Sam Watson questioned Indigenous leader Noel Pearson’s right to speak on all Aboriginal people’s behalf at a public lecture in Brisbane last night.

Mr Watson said he welcomed the opportunity to speak with Mr Pearson regarding their differences of opinion on Indigenous issues.

“Myself and a large number of people at the Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy have very strong views on issues that Noel brought up at his lecture last night, especially the view that Aboriginal people should take more responsibility for themselves, their lives  and their actions,” Mr Watson said.

Sam Watson arrives at the Sir Paul Hasluck Foundation annual lecture. Photo Kasun Ubayasiri

Sam Watson arrives at the Sir Paul Hasluck Foundation annual lecture. Photo: Kasun Ubayasiri

“We want him to meet with our mob in Musgrave park face-to-face, which is the blackfella way, and let him know our views, and ask him why he keeps asking Aboriginal people to take responsibility for themselves but lets white Australians off scot free.

“Also, we want it known that, even though many people keep referring to him as an Indigenous leader, he is not our leader and that he doesn’t speak for us.”

The ABC reported that, during the Sir Paul Hasluck Foundation annual lecture last night, Mr Pearson said his views were his own and he never spoke on behalf of anyone else.

Mr Watson said Mr Pearson was happy to accept his invitation to talk, but they have not yet set a time for the meeting to occur.

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