Honouring a leader of the Tweed community
A MUSICIAN, a leader, an inspiration and a proud father.
This is how Letitia Kelly has described her dad, Geoffrey Compton-Lomassa, after he was inducted into the tweed Aboriginal Islander Hall of Fame.
The organisation inducts Indigenous people who have passed away, recognising the contribution they made to the Aboriginal and Islander community in the Tweed.
The ceremony is held every year during NAIDOC week.
Mrs Kelly, who is the coach of the Cudgen Hornets ladies league-tag side, accepted the honour at a ceremony on Wednesday. She said her father was a passionate man who wanted to improve the lives of indigenous people.
"I learnt from dad to be proud of our Aboriginal and Islander heritage," she said.
"Through his contributions, not only on Tweed but the nation, he linked up with some very strong leaders we still have.
"What he has given us is to be resilient and to be proud of who we are."
Geoffrey was an activist during Australia's civil rights movement during the 1960s and was part of the influential group of people in Redfern during that time. But it was his passion for music which he found not only pleasure but success.
"He was one of the original band members called Silva Lining and then they changed to Black Lace," Mrs Kelly said.
"Being a part of that band, it gave people a voice and the confidence to come forward.
"All of those things have given us a pathway to go to school, own a home and be part of society.
"It might not be a big thing to people but to Aboriginal people it is."