List of Indigenous Australians in politics and public service

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Numerous Indigenous Australians have been notable for their contributions to politics, including participation in governments and activism in Australia. Others are noted for their public service, generally and in specific areas like law and education.

Politics and government[edit]


Nicholls, DouglasDouglas Nicholls South Australia first indigenous Governor of an Australian state (Governor of South Australia); Pastor with the Churches of Christ in Australia; first indigenous Australian to be knighted


Name Parliament Contribution References
Bonner, NevilleNeville Bonner Federal Liberal Senator for Queensland (1971-1983), the first Indigenous Australian to be elected to the Australian Senate and the Parliament of Australia
Ridgeway, AdenAden Ridgeway Federal Australian Democrats Senator for NSW (1999-2005) and former Parliamentary Deputy Leader of the party.
Peris, NovaNova Peris Federal Northern Territory senator for the Australian Labor Party(2013-incumbent)
Wyatt, KenKen Wyatt Federal Liberal MHR for Division of Hasluck (WA) (2010-incumbent), the first Indigenous Australian to be elected to the Australian House of Representatives
Burney, LindaLinda Burney New South Wales ALP MLA, first NSW Indigenous MP and former president of the ALP. First Indigenous deputy leader of the ALP in NSW.
Tungutalum, HyacinthHyacinth Tungutalum Northern Territory CLP 1974–1977
Lee, LarisaLarisa Lee Northern Territory CLP 2012-
Price, BessBess Price Northern Territory CLP 2012-
Kurrupuwu, Francis XavierFrancis Xavier Kurrupuwu Northern Territory CLP 2012-
Lanhupuy, WesleyWesley Lanhupuy Northern Territory ALP MLA 1983–1995
Ah Kit, JohnJohn Ah Kit Northern Territory ALP MLA 1995-2005
Anderson, AlisonAlison Anderson Northern Territory MLA since 2005; 2008–09 Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Heritage; Minister for Parks and Wildlife; Minister for Arts and Museums; and Minister for Indigenous Policy; resigned from the ALP in August 2009
Bonson, MatthewMatthew Bonson Northern Territory ALP MLA
Scrymgour, MarionMarion Scrymgour Northern Territory ALP MLA, first female Indigenous minister in Australia.
Giles, AdamAdam Giles Northern Territory CLP MLA; Chief Minister of the Northern Territory since March 2013; first Indigenous leader of an Australian government
Wyatt, BenBen Wyatt Western Australia ALP MLA, and Western Australian Shadow Treasurer.
Bridge, ErnieErnie Bridge Western Australia ALP (and later independent) MLA
Martin, CarolCarol Martin Western Australia ALP MLA. The first Aboriginal woman to be elected to any Australian Federal, State or Territory Parliament. [1]

Party leaders

Name Parliament Contribution References
Mundine, WarrenWarren Mundine Federal Former National President of the Australian Labor Party

Public servants[edit]

Name Contribution References
Clark, GeoffGeoff Clark led the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC)
Djerrkura, GatjilGatjil Djerrkura led ATSIC
Grant, StanStan Grant
Hammond, RubyRuby Hammond
Miller, DamienDamien Miller first Indigenous person appointed to head an Australian overseas mission (appointed Ambassador to Denmark, Norway and Iceland 2013) [2]
Neidjie, Big BillBig Bill Neidjie Last Gagudju speaker, and central figure in the foundation of Kakadu National Park
O'Donoghue, LowitjaLowitja O'Donoghue led ATSIC
Perkins, CharlesCharles Perkins
Sykes, BobbiBobbi Sykes
Williams, NevilleNeville Williams
Yunupingu, GalarrwuyGalarrwuy Yunupingu
Yunupingu, MandawuyMandawuy Yunupingu

Peter Shine



Lawyers and judges[edit]