10 Jun 2021

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (15:28): I rise today on a very sad issue from a Port Augusta community perspective, from a Flinders Ranges perspective and from my own perspective. I rise to talk about a friend who died recently and whose funeral I attended. It is a delicate thing to do, because we all go to lots of funerals and we do not talk about all of them, so this in no way is meant to exclude any other friend or loved one I do not do this about.

However, I do want to talk about this man, a man who was 44 years old, an Aboriginal man and a friend. He was not a super close friend. I am not trying to overcook this in any way, but he was a friend. We talked regularly and swapped texts regularly. But, more than that, he was an extraordinary leader in Port Augusta, in the Davenport community, in the Flinders Ranges and my home district.

I will say his name. I know that at times it is not appropriate to say the name of an Aboriginal person who has passed but, given the fact that his name was used very freely at the funeral by lots of Aboriginal people—it was written and spoken—I do not think that is inappropriate in any way.

Community Constable Bradley Amos, a husband, a father of three young adult sons, passed away. There was a very large funeral and an enormous amount of love and respect shown and shared for him and his family last Friday, and Port Augusta—I said community constable, but in fact I think senior community constable was his rank—and police were there in full force, and I mean that in a very good way. There was an extremely large contingent. I think almost every single local Port Augusta and Far North local service area (LSA) officer who could be spared was there. The police commissioner was there, former superintendents who had led the police in Port Augusta were there, and there were many other people there.

Brad was a leader. Brad was one of those people who, when he came into the room, the room lit up. He was one of those people who, when he was around, everything was better. He was one of those people who was not just about fun. He was a person who was a genuine leader of young people, middle-aged people, old people. Everybody looked up to him for what he had to offer. He was an extraordinary contributor to the South Augusta Football Club. He was a person who was very proud of his Aboriginal culture. He was a person who also fitted in through the structure of the police force in South Australia and was a respected officer in that way.

He found a way to walk a life that is extremely difficult, that is, the life of an Aboriginal community constable in the police, where you are challenged—and I do not say that I know this from personal experience, but certainly by observation and discussion with many friends—as the person in some ways representing the police, in some ways representing Aboriginal people, at times doing police work with Aboriginal people, at times doing police work with non-Aboriginal people and at all times being loyal simultaneously to the police force, to your community and also to your broader Aboriginal family. Bradley found a way to do that.

He was one of those people who could give an incredibly serious look. He might look at you and you would really wonder, 'Gee, what have I done, or what has somebody else done? What has made him look and feel that way?' Sometimes he meant it, sometimes there was something very serious on his mind, but sometimes he was just doing it to mess with you, and sometimes he would give a big beaming smile immediately afterwards and you would feel a bit silly that you were tricked or whatever.

One of the very last texts I had from Bradley Amos was a big emoji heart. I only mention that because that was the calibre of the man. He was a fierce competitor on the football field, he was a loving man to his friends, he was a leader in our community and he will be very sorely missed.