The Story Bridge and Victoria Bridge will be illuminated with the colours of the aboriginal flag this Friday (6 December) as a tribute to the late indigenous leader Uncle Sam Watson.
In a note, Brisbane City Council affirmed that it “was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Uncle Sam and the scheduled light-up will pay tribute to Uncle Sam and honour his incredible legacy.”
Uncle Sam was born and raised in Brisbane. Among his many talents were poetry, social activism, writing, lecturing and storytelling. One of his memorable contributions to the city was the work developed as an Indigenous literature and politics teacher at The University of Queensland.
“Uncle Sam always acknowledged the vibrancy and diversity in the mix of cultures that exist in Brisbane and emphasized the need to showcase the abundant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spirit that exists in our city. Most importantly, he also acknowledged the long journey that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of South East Queensland have made towards renewal in their culture which has resulted in economic, cultural and spiritual growth,” said the council.
In its website, QCOSS (Queensland Council of Social Service) describes: “throughout his life, Uncle Sam involved himself in community organisations in support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, and participated in ground-swell activism – most recently appearing at the Invasion Day rally in Brisbane. He was well known as a gifted storyteller and author with several books, plays and screenplays to his name.”
Uncle Sam passed away aged 67.