Latest information about news and events regarding Rona Tranby Trust and the Rona Tranby Award & Collection.


Today, is a sad day. Kevin Cook, the first Indigenous head of Tranby Aboriginal College in Sydney, has died. Kevin, or Cookie, as he was known to everyone, had been confined to bed with emphysema for many years.

The disease crippled his body but it did not constrain his mind. Cookie never gave up fighting for what he believed in, the rights of Aboriginal people, the working class, and the oppressed of the world. From his bed he advised and encourage the never ending flow of visitors.

In all the years that I knew him I never heard him complain about his own predicament. Neither did I hear him badmouth a single person. He died as poor as he was born, because Cookie was concerned not with self-enrichment, but with the enrichment of the many.

Professor Heather Goodall, in introducing Cookie’s story to readers of, Making Change Happen, said, “He was well-known as a unionist, as an advocate of innovative, Aboriginal-controlled adult education, highly respected as a nation-wide land rights organiser, a key player in transnational links with liberation movements and a man of exceptional integrity and dynamism.”

But Cookie’s book is not in the normal meaning a book about him. Heather went on to say, “Cookie was not interested in searching for the meaning of his own life. Instead, he has always focussed on what he grew up calling ‘sticking fats’ – sticking together with fellow activists, sharing the good and the bad in everything he was involved in – sharing not just the hopes but the hard work to reach goals and the scarce resources you had to live on to get there.”

Kevin was born in 1939 of the Wandandian people, and grew up in the steel town of Wollongong on the New South Wales south coast. He is a much missed, friend, comrade and inspiration. Cookie has always been, and always will be, the heart and soul of Tranby Aboriginal College.

Derek Mortimer - Friends of Tranby


Dr Belinda Russon, CEO of Tranby Aboriginal College, addressed the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies at the Sydney Jewish Museum in the lead up to National Reconciliation Week. She spoke about the Rona Tranby Trust, Tranby College & Reconciliation.


The Keewong Mob & members of the Western Heritage Group travelled to Varuna, Katoomba, as part of the Sydney Writers Festival, to give a presentation about the Rona Tranby Trust supported book, Yamakarra! Liza Kennedy and the Keewong Mob.

29th Nov 2014

Once Upon a Long Ago by Albert Williams - book launched at Tranby Aboriginal College by Hetti Perkins.

22nd Nov 2013

Yamakarra! Liza Kennedy & the Keewong Mob - book launched at Tranby Aboriginal College by Leah Purcell. Book available through Gleebooks in Glebe, Sydney.

27th Sep 2013

Making Change Happen: Black & White Activists talk to Kevin Cook about Aboriginal, Union & Liberation Politics - book launched at Tranby Aboriginal College by the Hon. Linda Burney MP & Paddy Crumlin. The book is available as a free download or can be ordered as a hardcopy online at

24th June 2013

Yidumduma Bill Harney received the 2012 Rona Tranby Award for his work on the Yubulyawan Dreaming Project. His award was presented to Paul Taylor at Tranby Aboriginal College, Sydney on 24th June 2013.

write to us

Rona Tranby
Award & Collection

Level 4
Culwulla Chambers
67 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000