How to watch Uncle Jack Charles’ state funeral service


Uncle Jack Charles, beloved Indigenous elder and actor
Image: Supplied

Uncle Jack Charles will be farewelled at a state funeral service in Melbourne on Tuesday that will be livestreamed online.

The actor, musician, gay man, activist and member of the Stolen Generation died in Melbourne after a stroke on September 13, aged 79.

Uncle Jack’s loved ones accepted a state funeral for the beloved Elder and the service will be held tomorrow (October 18) at Hamer Hall from 2pm AEDT (1pm AEST). A Smoking Ceremony will take place outside Hamer Hall from 12.30pm AEDT (11:30am AEST).

The service will be livestreamed online at the Victorian government website. The recording will remain online until Friday (October 21).

The Hamer Hall’s 2,466 seats will fill with attendees who will “dress with flair and creativity, in tribute to Uncle Jack’s character and the way he approached life.”

Members of the public can also view the ceremony at a screening at Fed Square on the day, on the corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Street in Melbourne.

The service will also be available for prisoners and young people to view in prisons, remand centres and youth justice centres across Victoria, in recognition of Uncle Jack’s work fighting recidivism within the state’s justice system.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews pays tribute to Uncle Jack Charles

Announcing the state service last month, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said “there is no actor, no activist, no survivor and no Victorian quite like Uncle Jack Charles.”

“He leaves behind a legacy – one of profound honesty, survival and reconciliation – and one that every single Victorian can be proud of,” he said.

Andrews said Uncle Jack “had a talent like no other and paved the way for Aboriginal actors to follow.”

“As an actor, musician, potter, performer and activist, Uncle Jack took on many roles,” he said.

“As a mentor and guiding light for young Aboriginal men, he touched the lives of many.”

‘Larger-than-life personality and a remarkable life’

Uncle Jack Charles was a proud Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung and Taungurung man.

Earlier this year, he made history as the first Aboriginal elder to testify at Victoria’s truth-telling Yoorrook Justice Commission.

“His life was once marred by great injustice. But he did not let that dim his bright and generous spirit,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“As an infant, he was forcibly removed from his mother by state authorities.

“Uncle Jack’s harrowing experience as a member of the Stolen Generations had a devastating impact on his sense of self, as he grappled with a cycle of addiction, homelessness and imprisonment for much of his early life.

“His separation from his family led him down a lifelong journey of discovery – of his family history, culture, and his Aboriginal identity.

“A larger-than-life personality, his warmth and humour saw him through, as he drew others into his remarkable life.”

In 2021, Uncle Jack was reunited with long-lost family in a moving episode of SBS genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?

Earlier this year, Uncle Jack was named NAIDOC male Elder of the Year at the 2022 NAIDOC Awards.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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