Uncle Lester Bostock was awarded honorary doctorate on Friday 9 December by AFTRS. Lester Bostock is a leader of the Aboriginal disability movement and Aboriginal film-making and media.
AFTRS released the following statement after the ceremony:
Lester Bostock, a pioneer of Indigenous media in Australia, and Academy-Award®-winning sound designer David White, have been named recipients of the Australian Film Television and Radio School’s Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts).
As Honorary Degree recipients, Lester Bostock and David White join a select group of significant Australian film and television industry practitioners including Darren Dale, Phillip Noyce, Dr George Miller, Baz Luhrmann, John Edwards and Jan Chapman.
Lester Bostock, commonly known as ‘Uncle Lester’ is a renowned filmmaker, mentor and Bundjalung Elder, and an inspiration and guiding light for a generation of Indigenous filmmakers. Lester has also been at the forefront of promoting and protecting the human rights of Aboriginal people with disability in Australia over several decades.
In the 1990s, Uncle Lester ran accelerated training workshops at AFTRS in television and from this ground-breaking program many Indigenous filmmakers were introduced to the industry and continue to work today.
From that foundational work, his legacy paved the way for the establishment of the AFTRS Indigenous Unit.
“Lester’s training programs have been instrumental in the increase in Indigenous drama production among emerging filmmakers, and his guidance and tenacity over the years has contributed greatly to the number of extraordinarily talented Indigenous filmmakers in the industry today.”
– AFTRS Chair Julianne Schultz AM FAHA
Uncle Lester’s experience as Associate Producer on Lousy Little Sixpence resulted in his push for training in film and television for Indigenous people. He also began to write policies and protocols on filming in Aboriginal communities and for Indigenous employment.
Uncle Lester’s long-standing passion for the arts is well known. He was one of the founding members of Black Theatre in the 1970s, and instrumental in the formation of Radio Redfern, now Koori Radio, in the 80s. He was the first Aboriginal presenter on SBS Radio, gravitating naturally to SBS Television as part of the first Aboriginal program team with Rhoda Roberts.
He has received numerous awards for community service over the years including a Centenary Medal, the NSW Law and Justice Foundation Award for Aboriginal Justice and in 2010 Uncle Lester was the NAIDOC Elder of the Year.