"So that you will not be a slave like me"
My Father was a stockman and a fencer, my Mother was a domestic. Both my Parents wanted me and my siblings to get an education; in the words of my Father "so that you will not be a slave like me."
My Parents had minimal education so for me to go to high school was a great achievement in their eyes. People I met who had gone to university encouraged me to undertake tertiary studies.
In 1988, I became the first Indigenous male graduate of Central Queensland University. I completed my undergraduate law degree at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 1995, and after being awarded the Lionel Murphy scholarship in 2000 I completed my Master of Laws in 2001.
I was instrumental in setting up the UNSW Indigenous pre-law program in 1994 and then went on to teach law at Southern Cross University and The University of Newcastle.
By teaching subjects such as Native Title, Indigenous Issues and the Law, as well as core law subjects from an Indigenous perspective, I believe I have made a small contribution to reconciliation by exposing both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to knowledge that they may never otherwise have acquired.
The respect shown and appreciation expressed by my students over the years has made my work all the more enjoyable and rewarding.
I have never lost my thirst for knowledge and am now about to embark on a PhD.