Tribute To Aboriginal Activist Sylvia Scott

Union donates $2,000 for the legacy of Aboriginal activist Sylvia Scott to be set in stone, National Secretary and ITF President Paddy Crumlin writes.

On behalf of all Australian maritime workers and the 4.6 million transport workers of the world, Paddy Crumlin has expressed the profound sympathies and condolences to the family of Sylvia Scott and the Aboriginal community.

"Aunty Sylvia was a renowned activist on behalf of your people and working people generally, growing up tough, a humble country girl making her way in the big city, starting out in factories for 30 bob a day to support her 10 brothers and sisters, founding the Murrawina Pre school, working at the Camperdown Childrens' Hospital - all those years caring for others," he wrote.

"She also became renowned for her welcome to country on behalf of the Gadigal people for foreign and national dignitaries -  the Dalai Lama, Gough Whitlam, royalty and in April 2008 the 350 national and international union delegates to the Mining and Maritime international labour conference held in Darling Harbour Sydney - so many of whom commented on her speech and profound understanding of labour issues.  She was also a friend and fellow traveller for fairness and justice over many years and I will, together with my family, miss her greatly."

The National Secretary noted that the Maritime Union has some remarkable indigenous Australians among its ranks and a long history of support for Aboriginal Australians and indigenous rights - 'one we will take with us into the future.'

MUA Sydney Branch Secretary Paul McAleer will be  representing the union at the funeral.

New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally has paid tribute to Ms Scott as a legend of south Sydney.

"She was one of the most generous and friendly and had a wicked sense of humour, and she will be truly missed," Ms Keneally said.