Dick Estens

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Dick Estens
Born Richard Lucas Estens
Gilgandra, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Education All Saints College, Bathurst
Known for Cotton growing
Aboriginal reconciliation
Home town Moree, New South Wales
Political party The Nationals
Board member of Aboriginal Employment Strategy
Reconciliation Australia
Moree Plains Health Service
Barwon Health Service
Gwydir Valley Cotton Growers Association
Awards HREOC Human Rights Medal (2004)
Rural Leader of the Year (2000)

Richard Lucas "Dick" Estens AO (born 1949 in Gilgandra, New South Wales) is an Australian cotton farmer and businessman.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Estens was born in Gilgandra and was brought up on a property close to the town. He was educated at All Saints College in Bathurst. After leaving school early he became an aircraft pilot.[2][3]

Cotton farming[edit]

In 1981 Estens started farming cotton on a property near Moree.[4]

Public life[edit]

Aboriginal Employment Strategy[edit]

In 1997, with the support of the Gwydir Valley Cotton Growers Association, Estens established the Aboriginal Employment Strategy with the goal of providing support for Aboriginal people in Moree who were looking to enter the job market.[2][4][5] One of the motivations behind the establishment of the AES was a recommendation from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody that employment promotion committees be established across the country.[6][7]

Estens Report[edit]

The Howard Government commissioned Estens to head the "Regional Telecommunications Inquiry" into the proposed sale of Telstra. In late 2002 he delivered what became known as the Estens Report to the government.[8]


In 2004 Estens was awarded the Human Rights Medal by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.[9][10]

Estens was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 2009.[1]


  1. ^ a b "ESTENS, Richard Lucas". It's an Honour. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  2. ^ a b c "Dick Estens' Biography". Aboriginal Employment Strategy. Archived from the original on 14 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  3. ^ "Bush telegraph". Sydney Morning Herald. 28 September 2002. Archived from the original on 11 December 2012. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  4. ^ a b "Cotton Australia Media Release: Cotton Industry Shines At Annual Awards - 17/08/2009". Cotton Australia. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  5. ^ Lewis, Daniel (15 February 2006). "Growers divide over monopoly export power". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  6. ^ "How we Began". Aboriginal Employment Strategy. Archived from the original on 19 September 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  7. ^ Dusevic, Tom (28 November 2005). "Jobs For Our Mob". Time magazine. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  8. ^ Kirk, Alexandra (8 November 2002). "Estens report on Telstra released". PM. ABC Radio. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  9. ^ "2004 Human Rights Medal and Awards". Australian Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  10. ^ Geoghegan, Andrew (10 December 2004). "Dick Estens recognised for his work with remote Aboriginal communities". The World Today. ABC Radio. Retrieved 2009-08-28.