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Vale Uncle Bill Smith

The nib Newcastle Knights will wear black armbands in Saturday’s match against the Brisbane Broncos as a mark of respect for the life of Uncle Bill Smith.

Uncle Bill Smith passed away on Sunday aged 83. He was a loving Husband, Father, Grandfather and Uncle to his family and was a highly respected Elder in the Aboriginal communities of Newcastle, the Hunter and northern NSW.

Uncle Bill was the co-founder of the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-Operative, was foundation chair of the National Aboriginal Rugby League Association, and an advisor to government at all levels over his lifetime. He worked tirelessly to bring awareness to Indigenous issues and Indigenous perspectives, increasing the cultural literacy of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians from all walks of life.

His work to share cultural knowledge with our Club spanned many years, up to and including 2021 when he performed the Welcome to Country played at each Newcastle Knights home game at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Uncle Bill is survived by wife Gloria and children Cheryl, Edward, Malcolm and Carol, his 18 grandchildren, 50 great grandchildren, extended family and friends.

We pay our respects for the life of Uncle Bill Smith and send our condolences to his loved ones.