The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, has paid tribute to Tiga Bayles, who passed away over the weekend in Brisbane.
Minister Scullion said Mr Bayles, a member of the Wirri Clan of the Birri Gubba nation, spent much of his life fighting for greater recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Islander people.
“Mr Bayles was a good friend and an inspiring leader in the Indigenous community,” Minister Scullion said.
“As one of the original members of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972, Mr Bayles should be remembered as a pioneer of the modern Aboriginal rights movement.
“Mr Bayles never wavered in his efforts to achieve better outcomes for his people and provided great leadership to the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council from 1987 to 1990.”
Minister Scullion said Mr Bayles would be fondly remembered for his long association with the Indigenous media industry.
“Mr Bayles helped to set up Radio Redfern with his mother Maureen Watson in Sydney in 1981 and later was instrumental in establishing the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association and the National Indigenous Radio Service,” Minister Scullion said.
“His voice will be sorely missed on the radio show Let’s Talk that I know many people across the community tuned in to for his knowledge, guidance and great sense of humour.
“From his leadership in Indigenous broadcasting to his role in establishing the successful Murri School in Brisbane, Mr Bayles always wanted to improve outcomes for the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and I know there are many young Indigenous leaders today who have been inspired by him.
“I was privileged enough to spend time with Mr Bayles and I will miss his warmth and friendly approach to life, as well as his deep commitment to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Minister Scullion extended his deepest condolences Mr Bayles’s family at this difficult time.