Albert Holt is a respected Aboriginal Elder from Inala in Brisbane's south-west. He grew up at the Cherbourg mission after his family was forcibly removed from their home, overcoming adversity to become a respected role model. Towards the end of 2001 Uncle Albert Holt retired from full time work. His last employment was with the Queensland Police Service, where he worked as a Police Liaison Officer for more than seven years. Upon retirement, he became more engaged with the Brisbane community. Along with other distinguished Aboriginal Elders, he was integral in establishing the Queensland Murri Courts, which is a voluntary service. He saw the Murri Courts expand to seventeen throughout Queensland. This was possible because of the invaluable contributions of the Elders. Sadly, the Murri Courts have been a victim of the Newman government cuts which is a profound disappointment for Uncle Albert and a backward step for our community.
For most of his life, Uncle Albert Holt has been passionately committed to encouraging all students to maximise the educational opportunities that are available to them. He is always encouraging them to seek educational pathways which benefit themselves, their community, and above all, their country. In acknowledgement for his community work he was awarded the 2005 NAIDOC Week National Male Elder of the year. In 2007 he was awarded the Queensland Premier's Senior Citizen Community Volunteer Award. In his local suburb of Inala, a Community Housing development has been named the Uncle Albert Holt Terraces. Since 2006, he has been a member of the Queensland Indigenous Consultative Committee, a ministerially-appointed committee that gives advice to governments on matters affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders' education.
His passion is centred on education and school visits and has been 'adopted' in over 8 local Schools. He regularly speaks to students on topics such as Aboriginal culture and history with an emphasis on reconciliation. Through Education Queensland, he has been part of the School Principal for a Day event. He says this had a huge impact on students, the Principal, teachers and staff. That a Community Elder could give his time freely to promote the value of what they can achieve with a decent education, was very empowering. For Uncle Albert, he says the joy and respect he receives is rich and rewarding and always looks forward to Education Queensland Week: Principal for a Day.
His most recent endeavour has been as one of the 2012 Australia Day Ambassadors. In this role he got to travel to Charters Towers and be part of their Australia Day celebrations where he spoke in the true spirit of reconciliation. He hopes to continue in this role next year.
Uncle Albert is a published author and has just re-released his autobiography Forcibly Removed to great acclaim. He is working on a second book and hopes to have it published as an eBook. What a long way he has come since his days on the mission! (Source: Vanessa Kerley 2012)