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Vale 'our King': tributes flow for inspirational Elder Uncle Jack Charles

Tom Zaunmayr -

Uncle Jack Charles is today being remember as a "true king" and inspiration for Australia following news of his death on Tuesday morning aged 79.

The Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Yorta Yorta Elder died surrounded by friends and family following a stroke at Royal Melbourne Hospital. His family had time to perform a smoking ceremony before his death.

A survivor of the Stolen Generations, Uncle Jack rose to become one of the most highly respected Australians of the 21st century and was this year named NAIDOC male Elder of the year.

First People's Assembly of Victoria took to Facebook on Tuesday morning, where they said the country had lost a "true king".

"So much heartache across Community," they said.

Uncle Jack was best known for his creative pursuits, making a name for himself as a prominent actor and writer.

Yorta Yorta songwriter and yidaki player Scott Darlow said Uncle Jack had been a source of Inspiration for many.

"Heartbroken today," he wrote on Facebook.

"Thank you for showing me what real forgiveness and grace looks like.

"Thank you for being so kind. Thank you for being my friend. You will be deeply missed."

Prominent Australians from across the country have this morning paid tribute to Uncle Jack.


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