Noel Pearson @ National Press Club

27 January 2016

Noel Pearson is an erudite and articulate man. He has a formidable presence and a catalogue of facial expressions to accompany his speaking that leave no doubt about his meaning and intent.

But he let himself be upstaged by his great-nephew at the National Press Club address when his great-nephew Kain Woibo, a shy young boy from Cape York, read the translation of Pearson’s opening address from the local indigenous language to English. Sitting beside him Lillian Bowen, who Kian calls ‘grandmother’, ( the sister of Kain’s grandfather) who guided him for what was a memorable beginning to a NPC address.

Noel Pearson makes you listen. He is one of but a few impressive speakers this country has produced and set the bar high at this start to the NPC calendar of speakers in an election year. It was a thoughtful and measured speech; will it make a difference to the current “deep crises” Pearson says lies in indigenous affairs governance.