A true Australian inspiration

Lionel Rose was the first indigenous role model to appeal to all Australians regardless of their ethnic background. As well as being the first indigenous boxer to win a world title and the first indigenous person to be voted Australian of the year, Rose inspired people around the world by taking an early stand against apartheid – he refused a big money fight in South Africa as he would have travelled there as an honorary ‘white’.

Since suffering a stroke in 2007, Rose’s health had deteriorated and he died on Sunday, aged 62.