Tributes are flowing for Brisbane radio personality Tiga Bayles who has passed away after a long battle with cancer, The Canberra Times reports.
Bales, 62, was a long time radio presenter at 98.9 FM for a program called Let’s Talk which focused on issues relevant to First Nations people. But his influence and activism in so many areas involving indigenous affairs was legendary.
NITV Channel Manager Tanya Denning-Ormann said that “throughout his life, Tiga led and fought furiously for the rights of First Nations people, from land rights and health services to justice and education, including the right for Indigenous people to own and control our media”.
Born Harold James Phillip Bayles and raised in Theodore in Central Queensland, Bayles was a leading figure in the Aboriginal rights movement.
According to a media statement from the Brisbane Indigenous Media Association he played a key role in the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games protests.
He also helped found the Murri School in Acacia Ridge and served as its Chairman until he died.
Bayles passed away surrounded by family and friends.
Tributes were coming through for Bayles on social media on Sunday morning.
“My condolences and love to the Bayles family – a great loss not only to the family but also the Murri Community. One of the strongest speakers I’ve ever met RIP Uncle,” was one of the messages posted on Facebook.
Wiradjuri News reported “the sad news of former NSW Land Council CEO and leader Tiga Bayles passing following a battle with cancer” calling Bayles “a man much admired in his broadcasting and political career by just being Tiga.”
Wiradjuri News manager David Towney said he knew Bayles when he was New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council CEO and as leader he made some brave moves.
“In the ’80s when he was the leader he made a brave purchase moving the land council from Liverpool to Parramatta,” Mr Towney said.
“He wanted to make the councils a better running operation for the Aboriginal people.
“New South Wales people owe him a lot and for not even being from there.”
Tiga Bayles started out in the music industry as the manager for Murri Jama and after a career in radio he helped move 98.9 to a multi-milllion dollar multi-media centre in West End.
Ms Denning-Ormann said NITV was deeply saddened to hear of Tiga’s passing.
“From Radio Redfern and 98.9 Murri Radio to NITV, we quite simply wouldn’t be in our position of strength without the efforts of this Birri Gubba Gungalu man and Dawson River Murri.
“His passing is a great loss to both our community and Indigenous Australia – we send our deepest sympathies to Tiga’s family and friends at this sad time. In the language of Birri-Gubba, we say good passage on your journey with Wadda Mooli.”
With The Canberra Times