Bill Ferguson recognised

Willie Ferguson (left) with Brett Garling’s statue of his grandfather William Ferguson and “justice reinvestment” pioneer Alastair Ferguson Photo Supplied

When a bronze statue of Aboriginal activist Bill Ferguson was unveiled in Dubbo last week, Bill’s great grandson in Bourke – Alister Ferguson knew it was up to him to continue the legacy.

Bill Ferguson is remembered as the Martin Luther King of Australia, and Alister says his forebear influences his life ‘every step of the way’.

William ‘Bill’ Ferguson died fighting for the rights of his people, in 1950 at the age of 60 in his home town of Dubbo.

A five-year campaign led by his descendants and supporters has finally seen the completion of a life-size bronze statue of Mr Ferguson standing proudly in Dubbo’ main street, Macquarie Street.

He collapsed fighting for the rights of his people, and just a few metres from where he gave his dramatic last speech on January 4 1950, stands the statue by sculptor Brett Garling.

Bill Ferguson founded the Aboriginal Progressive Association and led protests at the 1938 National Day of Mourning declared on January 26, the forerunner of what is now known as NAIDOC week.

The campaign to have a statue to commemorate his legacy was led by grandson Willy Ferguson and took more than five years.

Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.