The passing of Roberta Sykes A statement from Bev Manton, Chairwoman of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC)
In 1998 Roger Riordan read Snake Cradle, the first volume of Roberta Sykes’ autobiography. She had been attending a convent school, but when she reached the age of 14 (then the official school leaving age) she was summarily told to leave.
This precipitated a whole series of disasters, and it took her many years to retrieve her life. Roger was appalled by this story, and resolved to try to do something to save other aboriginal children from similar suffering. He contacted Roberta, and at her suggestion, in 1999 he endowed the Koiki (Eddie) Mabo Fund at the University of Newcastle. This has in turn inspired several other scheme