06 December 2013

Nelson MandelaThe University of South Australia’s Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre will open a Mandela memory book for members of the South Australian community, Hawke Centre supporters and volunteers and UniSA staff and students to record their appreciation of Mandela’s life and his outstanding contribution to reconciliation, social justice and peace.

The Mandela memory book will be available to sign at the Hawke Centre, in the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery where his ideal of reconciliation is celebrated, from Tuesday 10 – Friday 20 December 2013, from 9.00am and 4.00pm.

A copy will be sent to the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa as a token of esteem from the Hawke Centre, and from all those who have recorded their tributes, while another copy will be held by the Centre.  

Nelson Mandela accepted the role of International Patron of the Hawke Centre in 2001.

Director of the Hawke Centre, Elizabeth Ho says Mandela will always be known for his remarkable capacity to bring justice, healing and reconciliation not only to his beloved South Africa but also to the world.

“His example will continue to fuel the Centre’s program of educational engagement with the wider community,” she said.

“He was deeply committed to education and he linked it closely to empowerment and equality for the oppressed, and his legacy will definitely live on in the Hawke Centre and be celebrated in our Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, for years to come.”

“We are a long way from South Africa, but we are keen to send the Mandela Foundation many messages showing how far Mandela’s ideals have travelled and influenced the world, including Australia, and how much we have all admired our international patron - a truthful and humane world leader and an example to us all.”

Devoted to community engagement and public learning, the Hawke Centre offers a program presenting ideas and solutions for the 21st century. Mandela personally commended the Centre’s efforts to strengthen democracy and value cultural diversity. “Such values are necessary if we are to create sustainable societies and a peaceful world,” he said in 2001.

Mandela’s patronage reflected his long held gratitude to the then Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who successfully fought against South Africa’s apartheid laws through the Commonwealth Heads of Government.

Shortly after his release from 27 years of imprisonment in 1990, Nelson Mandela had told Bob Hawke “I want you to know, Bob, that I am here today, at this time, because of you.”

The Kerry Packer Civic Gallery was established in 2007 by the Hawke Centre to celebrate the global spirit of social justice engendered by Mandela, and was generously endowed by the family of the late Kerry Packer. The Gallery is a tribute to reconciliation, affirming both Mandela’s work and the Australian reconciliation movement to bring Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together, a movement strongly promoted by UniSA.

The Gallery also pays tribute to the Kaurna people, the first nation to inhabit the land on which the Hawke Centre sits, and was created with the advice and support of Kaurna elders.

Mandela will continue to be honoured in the Gallery through the Mandela Wall, a major feature of the space, and also remembered in the UniSA Nelson Mandela Lecture in the Hawke Centre’s program.

The Kerry Packer Civic Gallery is on the 3rd Level of the Hawke Building, UniSA, City West Campus, 55 North Terrace, near the CityWest tram stop.  

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: 08 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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