Statement from Arthur Moses SC, President of the New South Wales Bar Association, on the passing of Sol Bellear AM
The New South Wales Bar Association notes with great sadness the passing of Sol Bellear AM on 30 November 2017. Sol had accepted my invitation to address the Bar at a function on Monday, 11 December 2017 to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Redfern Park Speech. As a mark of respect to Sol’s family and friends, we have postponed the function until early next year. We, as a nation, are diminished by the unexpected loss of this inspirational Australian. Sol dedicated his life to the betterment of Indigenous people. He fought tirelessly against injustice and inequality, which, sadly, continues to be a stain on our nation’s character.
Sol Bellear enjoyed the respect and admiration of lawyers across New South Wales, young and old. He was the inaugural chairperson of the Aboriginal Legal Service and the long-serving chairperson of the Aboriginal Medical Service in Redfern. He was also a champion of Justice Reinvestment, which continues to offer one of the few promising ways to break the tragic cycle of Aboriginal disadvantage, crime, incarceration and reoffending in western New South Wales.
Sol was, of course, a Bundjalung man from Mullumbimby and a staunch advocate for land rights. In more recent times, he supported the Uluru Statement from the Heart. His funeral will be held at 11.00am on Saturday, 9 December 2017 at Redfern Oval.
On behalf of the NSW Bar, I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends.