Professor Kelvin Kong works between Newcastle Private and John Hunter hospitals, teaches, mentors Indigenous medical students, is a board member of the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, and the RACS’s Indigenous health committee. He is also involved in essential ear disease research throughout Australia.
Dr. Kong stated that ‘‘I think I’ve been extremely lucky, and extremely blessed with the opportunities I’ve been given and because of that, I think I have to be mindful about giving back.’’ He told the assembled students that all the people who live in the Hunter Valley, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, have a responsibility as custodians of this land to protect it and appreciate it. This precious land of ours has been here for millions of years and we need to ensure it is here for future generations to enjoy.
It is a precious resource that is paramount to our Aboriginal community. The land owns Aboriginal people and every aspect of their lives is connected to it. Aboriginal law and spirituality are intertwined with the land, the people and creation, and this forms our culture and sovereignty.
Representatives of the Catholic Schools Office also attended including Assistant Director of Schools, Gerard Mowbray and Aboriginal Educational Support Officer, Louise Campbell.
The Principal of the College, Br. Robert Sutton presented Professor Kong with an Aboriginal painting. At the conclusion of the Assembly Professor Kong presented Year 11 Aboriginal students with their Aboriginal badges.