In the months before he died, Chicka Dixon, one of the most loved and respected Aboriginal leaders of the modern era, would host a weekly meeting at his Sydney home with young and up-and-coming Aboriginal men and women. One of the central messages Chicka wanted to get out was this: "The days of marching on the streets are over. You have to beat them in the boardroom."

An impressive young Sydney Aboriginal leader who made frequent use of Chicka’s mentoring was relaying the story to me recently. The conversation was sparked by his disappointment at what had occurred at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on January 26.