Noel Pearson

Noel Pearson, in February 2010 Noel Pearson (born 25 June 1965) is an Australian lawyer, academic, land rights activist and founder of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership, an organisation promoting the economic and social development of Cape York.

Pearson came to prominence as an advocate for Indigenous peoples' rights to land – a position he maintains. Since the end of the 1990s his focus has encompassed a range of additional issues: he has strongly argued that Indigenous policy needs to change direction, notably in relation to welfare, substance abuse, child protection, education and economic development. Pearson criticises approaches to these problems which, while claiming to be "progressive," in his opinion merely keep Indigenous people dependent on welfare and out of the "real economy." He outlined this position in 2000 in his speech, ''The light on the hill''.

In the first decade of the 2000s, Pearson began outlining an alternative to traditional left-wing politics that he called radical centrism. One part of his selected writings is entitled "The Quest for a Radical Centre".

Pearson, though only seven at the time of the election of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, and 10 when he was replaced by Fraser, delivered one of the eulogies at the State memorial service for Whitlam in November 2014. It was hailed in some quarters as "one of the best political speeches of our time".
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