Col James: Urban legend

20 November 2007

If there was something radical happening in the 1960s and '70s, self-confessed anarchist, militant and revolutionary Col James was in the thick of it.

The Block in Redfern, the counter-culture revolution in Nimbin, and the green bans issued by the notoriously left-wing Builders Labourers' Federation were all on his agenda.

"He's a legend - especially on Aboriginal housing issues," says Michael Mundine, chair of the Aboriginal Housing Company. "He's been with the company since its inception. He has a heart of gold - always looking after the needy and homeless."

James, 71, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture, has been honoured many times for his work with disadvantaged and Aboriginal groups and their housing needs, receiving an Australia Medal, the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in NSW President's Award, and a Sydney Alumni Award.

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