17 August 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Neville Bonner’s swearing in as a Senator for Queensland.
This was a landmark occasion in Australian history.
Bonner was the first Aboriginal person to sit in the Australian Parliament. Since then, 8 Indigenous Australians have done the same.
The 45th Parliament currently includes five Indigenous parliamentarians. Ken Wyatt AM, MP is the Member for Hasluck and Linda Burney MP is the Member for Barton, while the Senate includes senators Pat Dodson, Jacqui Lambie and Malarndirri McCarthy.
Indigenous Australians who have previously served in the Parliament include Aden Ridgeway, Nova Peris and Joanna Lindgren. David Kennedy also served, although his Indigenous heritage was not known when he entered Parliament, nor did he self-identify as Indigenous at that time.
Bonner was an elder of the Jagera people, the traditional custodians of the land on which ACU’s Brisbane Campus is built.
With generous support from La Trobe Financial, ACU has commissioned a short video celebrating Bonner’s legacy as the first Aboriginal parliamentarian.
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