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Leetona Dungay and Manyana Matters - Winners of 2021 John Kaye Memorial Award for Social Justice and Environmental Protection

Join us for this event to honour the work and contributions of the John Kaye Memorial Award winners, Leetona Dungay and Manyana Matters. The John Kaye Memorial Award recognises an outstanding individual or collective contribution towards social and environmental justice.

The award presentation event will be held online, with a screening of a short film by Manyana Matters and keynote speeches from First Nations rights advocate Professor Larissa Behrendt and Shoalhaven City Council Mayor, Amanda Findley. Leetona and a representative of Manyana Matters will also speak.

Lynne Joslyn, the partner of John Kaye will present the awards and Greens MP and Lead Senate Candidate, David Shoebridge, will MC the event. 

The Award Winners

Leetona Dungay is the mother of David Dungay Jr, a proud Dhungutti man, who died in Sydney’s Long Bay Gaol in 2015 after guards overpowered him in a dispute about eating biscuits. In 2020 Leetona launched the Justice for David Dungay petition, which has helped galvanise community action around black deaths in custody. Since the petition was launched in July last year it has gained over 120 000 signatures. Leetona's involvement informed the Black Lives Matter Movement in Australia, where she was the head speaker at many high profile protests. Her work helped create the NSW Parliament Inquiry into First Nation's Deaths in Custody. In June 2021, Leetona filed a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee alongside the National Justice Project and human rights lawyer, Jennifer Robinson.

Manyana Matters: Manyana is a small NSW coastal village in the southern Shoalhaven surrounded by the Conjola National Park. Founded in 2018, Manyana Matters initially was a community information social media site with an environmental focus. As was the case for so many small communities on Australia’s eastern seaboard the devastating fires of 2019/20 changed everything. Led by Manyana Matters, the community was galvanised into a formidable grassroots group, campaigning to prevent the clearing of unburnt bushland saved from the ravages of a massive fire by the local Rural Fire Service. On learning that this precious, mature forest was to be destroyed to make way for a commercial housing estate Manyana Matters organised a series of innovative protest actions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that raised awareness of the campaign far beyond the local area. Media stories received statewide, national and international attention.

About John Kaye

John Kaye was a remarkable person. Sadly he died in 2016. John was a trailblazer as an academic, as a Greens MP and as an advocate for climate action and public education. John was a kind, decent man, known for his endless energy. In his lifetime John achieved extraordinary things. His overarching commitment was to empower and involve people in the struggle for a fair, just, peaceful world. This award has been created to honour his memory.


If you are under 18, your parent or guardian will need to contact the event organiser directly to let them know there will be someone under 18 attending.

9th November, 2021 6:30 PM   through   8:30 PM
NSW Online via Zoom