Dr Sykes (although she had not yet even begun her PhD) was the first woman I ever saw referred to as an activist on the TV news, when she was arrested in 1972 as the police overran the Aboriginal Tent Embassy outside Parliament House in Canberra. There will be no picture of her here now that she is deceased.
Aboriginal rights campaigner, author and poet Roberta “Bobbi” Sykes has died at the age of 67.
The Harvard University graduate died at the weekend, the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Dr Sykes will be sorely missed by those who knew her and her passing is a sad day for the Aboriginal rights movement,” NSWALC chairwoman Bev Manton said.
Dr Sykes was the first executive secretary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra in 1972 and worked as an adviser in Aboriginal health and education.