Council observes two-minute silence for Hazel
A TWO-MINUTE silence was observed at yesterday’s Cairns Regional Council meeting.
Long-time friend and Division 10 Councillior Julia Leu said she was deeply saddened by the loss of her friend.
“Hazel was very dear friend of 20 years and I will miss her terribly,” Ms Leu said.
“One of her great strengths was that she was a unifying force and deeply respected by the community.
“On important issues she had the extraordinary ability to stand her ground but more importantly to explain succinctly her views to non-indigenous people on cultural issues.
“This ability, coupled with her excellent people skills, saw her involved in many key forums within the community and she was a tireless worker within the community and advocating the importance of culture and change when it was needed and always with a smile on her face.
“As well as being a very generous woman, she was a true leader in every sense of the word and she was already at the forefront of reconciliation long before it had become part of the mainstream language.
“Her efforts in this arena had an impact far beyond the Mossman region where she lived.
“It is a very sad day indeed - we have lost a great woman and a strong warrior for change and an amazing role model for all of our community.
Another friend Hilary Kuhn, who had known Ms Douglas since the ’90s, was also deeply saddened.
“Hazel was a fabulous role model for the young women in her community and she has left behind a fabulous legacy of imparting her knowledge and her understanding of her country,” Ms Kuhn said.
“She truly was ahead of her time when she started her tour guide business by introducing people to all of the wonderful plant and animal species of the Daintree.
“She was a prominent member of the justice network for Jabalbina and a tireless campaigner for reconciliation.
“Her passing is a big loss to the community and many of us have also lost a very dear friend.”
Ms Douglas’s funeral will be held next Wednesday.