Statement on the passing of Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue AC CBE DSG

7 FEBRUARY 2024

Statement on the passing of Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue AC CBE DSG

Dr O'Donoghue leaves a life-long legacy of advancing First Nations empowerment, particularly in the areas of health, welfare and land rights.

It is with great sadness that Charles Sturt University mourns the death of Yankunytjatjara leader Dr Lowitja O'Donoghue AC CBE DSG, who passed away earlier this week.

Dr O’Donoghue was one of the founding visionaries of the Australian Centre for Christianity & Culture, and played an integral part in its formation.

The Centre was established in 1998 as an ecumenical body, in partnership between the Australian Christian Churches and Charles Sturt University.

Her contribution ensured the central place of reconciliation and culture in the identity and work of the ACC&C. Her guidance led to the creation of the Gathering place (a fireplace with 12 stones which became a spiritual focus of the Centre) at the ACC&C site in Canberra.

During Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the Centre, Her Majesty planted a black pine and Dr O’Donoghue planted a white one.

Dr O'Donoghue leaves a life-long legacy of advancing First Nations empowerment, particularly in the areas of health, welfare and land rights.

Dr O’Donoghue was the first Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, played an extensive role in the drafting of the Native Title Act 1993, was Australian of the Year in 1984 and in 1999 became a Companion of the Order of Australia.

She was a significant First Nations leader in the life of the Australian Christian Church. Yet this brief list of achievements only touches the surface of what she accomplished in her life.

She was a leader of rare vision, strength, grace and wisdom, and she will be sorely missed by all those whose lives she touched

Media Note:

Statement only.

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