Lismore City Council Honour Memory of Cory James
Lismore City Council Acting General Manager Peter Jeuken has unveiled Council’s new Indigenous work shirt featuring the designs of Cory James in his memory.
Cory James was a member of Council’s roads crew who died suddenly in October 2019. He was a proud Bundjalung/Yaegl man and is sorely missed by his family and Council colleagues.
The idea of a shirt with an Indigenous design for Council workers was something Cory had envisioned to recognise Council’s Indigenous staff and to promote Indigenous culture and heritage within the community. Sadly, Cory died before his vision was realised.
In honour of his memory, Council has produced a shirt using Cory’s original artwork.
This artwork is a replica of designs Cory hand-painted on a surfboard that reflects his ancestral dreaming path. It features three circles representing the three islands where his ancestors are from – Ullagundai Island, Cabbage Tree Island and Stradbroke Island – as well as his handprint and signature.
There are also symbols that represent people gathering around a campfire and the connection between groups in his grandfather’s country here in Lismore, while his mother Jenny Smith hand-painted a snake – his family’s ancestral totem – to complete the design.
Mr Jeuken said the new Indigenous work shirt and scholarship were a fitting way for Council to pay tribute to a young man who was known for his hard work and passion for improving opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Lismore City Council has established an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Scholarship Program in memory of Cory. Announcing the Scholarship, Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said Council believes the Cory James Memorial Scholarship is a fitting way to pay tribute to a young man who was known for his hard work and passion for improving opportunities for Indigenous people.
“Cory advocated for equality of fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council staff and held a strong vision for reconciliation based on respect, relationships and opportunities,” he said.
The Cory James Memorial Scholarship will provide $5000 annually to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council employee who wishes to undertake further study to support their aspiration of developing a leadership role within Council and the community. Malcolm Saunderson from the Council parks team has been announced as the inaugural recipient of the Cory James Memorial Scholarship.
Image: Aunty Thelma and Lismore City Mayor Isaac Smith.