Activist and community leader Sam Watson had died. His family describing him as a much cherished husband, father, brother, uncle and grandfather.
Activist and community leader Sam Watson had died. His family describing him as a much cherished husband, father, brother, uncle and grandfather.

Tributes as popular and loved activist dies

A DEVOTED family man who fought for the betterment of Indigenous Australians.

That's how the family of Brisbane man Sam Watson are remembering the activist and community leader.

Mr Watson passed away surrounded by loved ones in the Princess Alexandra Hospital on Wednesday.

His daughter Nicole issued a statement on behalf of the family describing Mr Watson as a devoted family man.

Activist and academic Sam Watson in Brisbane in 2018. File picture: Claudia Baxter/AAP
Activist and academic Sam Watson in Brisbane in 2018. File picture: Claudia Baxter/AAP

"He was a much cherished husband, father, brother, uncle and grandfather," Ms Watson said.

"Sam also made loving connections with the Clay family on Palm Island, connections that remain strong today."

Mr Watson was involved in politics from the age of 16, when he handed out how- to-vote cards for the Yes campaign in the 1967 referendum.

He was a founding member of the Brisbane Chapter of the Australian Black Panthers, and was a prominent figure at the annual Invasion Day rallies in Brisbane.

Ms Watson said her father was proud of his Indigenous heritage which led to his life-long advocacy.

"He proudly belonged to the original Aboriginal Tent Embassy," she said.

Together with Aboriginal people throughout Queensland, Sam fought against the policies of the Bjelke-Petersen government that saw our communities subject to the oppressive controls of the former Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advancement.

"It is his family's hope that the Invasion Day rallies will continue to grow each year, because we know that he will be there in spirit," the statement read.


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