|Issue No 61||07 July 2000|
Biko Backer Tours Australia
By Peter Ross
Respected South African journalist, Donald Woods, is visiting Australia and NZ for a 16 day speaking tour on behalf of the Fred Hollows Foundation focusing on the need for economic and social reinvestment in South Africa and the region.
Donald Woods is the former editor of the Daily Despatch newspaper in Eastern Cape and is best known as the newspaper chief who published editorials challenging the apartheid regime in South Africa, in particular its role in the death of young black activist Steve Biko. He was arrested in 1978 for his editorials challenging the apartheid policies of the former Government.
Woods was, as portrayed in the 1988 Sir Richard Attenborough film, "Cry Freedom", important in bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa, largely because of the tough economic sanctions he urged the rest of the Western world to impose on his government.
As an exile in 1978, Woods commenced his twelve-year campaign on the speakers' circuit by becoming the first civilian to address the UN Security Council. After living in the UK for the past 20 years, Woods recently spent 18 months in Johannesburg as the International Representative for Africa at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ).
"I am eagerly looking forward to visiting Australia for the fourth time," he said. "I am interested in getting first hand briefings on local matters that have racial connotations. The difficulties faced by Australian indigenous people and also the breakdown of government in Fiji and the Solomon Islands will be two matters that I will write about upon my return to the United Kingdom.
"I have been most concerned to hear comments that some countries may be considering the introduction of apartheid style policies into their constitutions."
During his short tour of Australia and New Zealand, Woods will be addressing and informing audiences about the realities of the social, political and economic life in contemporary South Africa.
Dates are as follows:
Thursday 13 July - National Press Club, Canberra (12-2pm)
Monday 17 July - Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane (12-2pm)
Tuesday 18 July - Lyrics Restaurant, Adelaide Festival Centre (12.30 - 2pm)
Wednesday 19 July - Parliament House, Melbourne (12-2pm)
Thursday 20 July - Parliament House, Sydney (12-2pm)
Thursday 20 July - Sir John Clancy Auditorium, UNSW (6 - 7.30pm)
Friday 21 July - Western Australia Club, Perth (7.30-9am)
For booking information, please visit The Fred Hollows Foundation website at: www.hollows.com.au
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