Increased Indigenous representation in Federal Parliament is “a significant step forward for our mob and for the nation”, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, said.
“I am delighted by the news that Professor Patrick Dodson will stand for the Senate in Western Australia. I am also thrilled by the prospect of having Linda Burney make history by becoming the first Indigenous woman to hold a seat in the federal House of Representatives.
“We have a handful of Indigenous people in our parliaments, but more of our mob need to be there to ensure our voices are heard and our communities properly represented,” Commissioner Gooda said.
“Pat Dodson is a highly respected Indigenous leader and champion of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. He is also an influential advocate for constitutional recognition. He will be a valuable member of the Senate.
“Linda Burney is another outstanding advocate for justice and a champion of Aboriginal rights in education, reconciliation and politics.
“Linda has contributed significantly to the development of Indigenous communities locally, regionally and nationally as an educator and as a member of the NSW Parliament.”
Commissioner Gooda acknowledged the existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander MPs and Senators, including Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt MP (Australia’s first Indigenous federal frontbencher), Queensland Senator Joanna Lindgren, Northern Territory Senator Nova Peris and Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie.
Commissioner Gooda, as co-chair of the Close the Gap Campaign, said all major political parties must renew their commitment to closing the unacceptable health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians…