List of Indigenous Australian politicians

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This is a list of Indigenous Australians who have been members of Australian legislatures—federal, state or territory. This list does not cover those elected to local councils (including mayors), Governors/Governors-General, leaders of political parties (outside of parliament), Indigenous Australians actively involved in political institutions and those who have run unsuccessfully for office.

There have been 32 Indigenous members of the ten Australian legislatures, beginning when Neville Bonner entered the Australian Senate on 15 August 1971. Of these, seventeen have been elected to the Northern Territory assembly, five to the Australian Federal Parliament, four to the parliament of Western Australia, three to the parliament of Queensland and one each to the parliaments of Tasmania and New South Wales and one to the Australian Capital Territory assembly.

Out of the 32 Indigenous Australians elected to any Australian Parliament, 12 have been women.

Nobody of acknowledged Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ancestry has been a member of the parliaments of South Australia or Victoria or of the Norfolk Island assembly.[citation needed]

Note: There is considerable debate surrounding the complexity of Indigenous identity. Therefore, this list only includes those who identify themselves as Indigenous Australian. Also note that "origin" or "ancestry" refers to the Indigenous groups, communities, countries, place names or languages which that person identifies with. Some individuals do not have any specific Indigenous group identity and some have multiple identities.

Federal Parliament[edit]

Six Indigenous Australian people have been members of the Parliament of Australia (the Federal Parliament), five in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives.

Name Party Chamber Constituency Origin Term start Term end Ref
1 Bonner, NevilleNeville Bonner   Liberal Senate Queensland Jagera 15 August 1971 4 February 1983 [1]
2 Ridgeway, AdenAden Ridgeway   Democrats Senate New South Wales Gumbaynggirr 1 July 1999 30 June 2005 [2]
3 Wyatt, KenKen Wyatt   Liberal House Hasluck (WA) Noongar
Wangai
Yamatji
21 August 2010 incumbent [3]
4 Peris, NovaNova Peris   Labor Senate Northern Territory Gija (WA)
Iwaidja
Yawuru (WA)
7 September 2013 incumbent [4]
5 Lindgren, JoannaJoanna Lindgren   LNP Senate Queensland Jagera
Mununjali
21 May 2015 incumbent [5]

At least three other members of the Federal Parliament have had acknowledged Indigenous ancestry, but were not generally regarded as Indigenous themselves.

Name Party Chamber Constituency Ancestry Term start Term end Ref
1 Kennedy, DavidDavid Kennedy   Labor House Bendigo (Vic.) Palawa 7 June 1969 2 December 1972 [6]
2 Brough, MalMal Brough   Liberal House Longman (Qld.) unknown (WA) 2 March 1996 24 November 2007 [7]
  LNP Fisher (Qld.) 7 September 2013 incumbent
3 Lambie, JacquiJacqui Lambie   PUP Senate Tasmania Palawa 1 July 2014 24 November 2014 [8]
  Independent 24 November 2014 incumbent

Parliament of the Australian Capital Territory[edit]

One Indigenous Australian person has been a member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly, the single chamber of the unicameral Parliament of the Australian Capital Territory.

Name Party Constituency Origin Term start Term end Ref
1 Bourke, ChrisChris Bourke   Labor Ginninderra 1 June 2011 incumbent [9]

Parliament of New South Wales[edit]

One Indigenous Australian person has been a member of the Parliament of New South Wales.

Name Party Chamber Constituency Origin Term start Term end Ref
1 Burney, LindaLinda Burney   Labor Legislative Assembly Canterbury Wiradjuri 22 March 2003 incumbent [10]

Parliament of the Northern Territory[edit]

Seventeen Indigenous Australian people have been members of the unicameral Parliament of the Northern Territory.

Name Party Constituency Origin Term start Term end Ref
1 Tungutalum, HyacinthHyacinth Tungutalum   CLP Tiwi Tiwi 19 October 1974 13 August 1977 [11]
2 Perkins, NevilleNeville Perkins   Labor MacDonnell Arrernte 13 August 1977 6 March 1981
3 Lanhupuy, WesWes Lanhupuy   Labor Arnhem Yolngu 3 December 1983 25 August 1995
4 Tipiloura, StanleyStanley Tipiloura   Labor Arafura Tiwi 7 March 1987 20 September 1992
5 Rioli, MauriceMaurice Rioli   Labor Arafura Tiwi 7 November 1992 17 August 2001
6 Ah Kit, JackJack Ah Kit   Labor Arnhem Arrernte 7 October 1995 18 June 2005
7 Bonson, MatthewMatthew Bonson   Labor Millner 18 August 2001 8 August 2008
8 McAdam, ElliotElliot McAdam   Labor Barkly Jingili 18 August 2001 8 August 2008
9 Scrymgour, MarionMarion Scrymgour   Labor Arafura Tiwi 18 August 2001 4 June 2009 [12]
  Independent 4 June 2009 4 August 2009
  Labor 4 August 2009 6 August 2012
10 Anderson, AlisonAlison Anderson   Labor MacDonnell Arrernte 18 June 2005 4 August 2009
  Independent 4 August 2009 9 September 2011
  CLP 9 September 2011 25 August 2012
Namatjira 25 August 2012 4 April 2014
  Independent 4 April 2014 27 April 2014
  PUP 27 April 2014 29 November 2014
  Independent 29 November 2014 incumbent
11 McCarthy, MalarndirriMalarndirri McCarthy   Labor Arnhem Yanyuwa 18 June 2005 6 August 2012 [13]
12 Hampton, KarlKarl Hampton   Labor Stuart 23 September 2006 6 August 2012
13 Giles, AdamAdam Giles   CLP Braitling Kamilaroi (NSW) 9 August 2008 incumbent
14 Kurrupuwu, Francis XavierFrancis Xavier Kurrupuwu   CLP Arafura Tiwi 25 August 2012 4 April 2014
  Independent 4 April 2014 27 April 2014
  PUP 27 April 2014 8 September 2014
  CLP 8 September 2014 incumbent
15 Lee, LarisaLarisa Lee   CLP Arnhem Jawoyn 25 August 2012 4 April 2014
  Independent 4 April 2014 27 April 2014
  PUP 27 April 2014 29 November 2014
  Independent 29 November 2014 incumbent
16 Vowles, KenKen Vowles   Labor Johnston 25 August 2012 incumbent
17 Price, BessBess Price   CLP Stuart Arrernte 25 August 2012 incumbent

Parliament of Queensland[edit]

Three Indigenous Australian people have been members of the unicameral Parliament of Queensland.

Name Party Constituency Origin Term start Term end Ref
1 Deeral, EricEric Deeral   Country Cook Guugu Yimithirr 7 December 1974 12 November 1977 [14]
2 Enoch, LeeanneLeeanne Enoch   Labor Algester Nunukul
Quandamooka
31 January 2015 incumbent [15]
3 Gordon, BillyBilly Gordon   Labor Cook 31 January 2015 29 March 2015 [16]
  Independent 29 March 2015 incumbent

Parliament of Tasmania[edit]

One Indigenous Australian person has been a member of the Parliament of Tasmania.

Name Party Chamber Constituency Origin Term start Term end Ref
1 Hay, KathrynKathryn Hay   Labor House of Assembly Bass Noongar (WA) 20 July 2002 18 March 2006 [17]

At least one other member of the Parliament of Tasmania has acknowledged Indigenous ancestry, but is not generally regarded as Indigenous themselves.

Name Party Chamber Constituency Ancestry Term start Term end Ref
1 Harriss, PaulPaul Harriss   Independent Legislative Council Huon 25 May 1996 24 February 2014 [18]
  Liberal House of Assembly Franklin 15 March 2014 incumbent

Parliament of Victoria[edit]

No Indigenous Australians have been a member of the Parliament of Victoria. However, at least two members have had acknowledged Indigenous ancestry, but were not generally regarded as Indigenous themselves.

Name Party Chamber Constituency Ancestry Term start Term end Ref
1 Kennedy, CyrilCyril Kennedy   Labor Legislative Council Waverley Palawa 5 May 1979 2 October 1992 [19]
2 Kennedy, DavidDavid Kennedy   Labor Legislative Assembly Bendigo Palawa 3 April 1982 1 March 1985 [6]
  Bendigo West 1 March 1985 2 October 1992

Parliament of Western Australia[edit]

Four Indigenous Australian people have been members of the Parliament of Western Australia, all of whom were elected to the Legislative Assembly (the lower house).

Name Party Chamber Constituency Origin Term start Term end Ref
1 Bridge, ErnieErnie Bridge   Labor Legislative Assembly Kimberley 23 February 1980 27 July 1996 [20]
  Independent 27 July 1996 10 February 2001
2 Martin, CarolCarol Martin   Labor Legislative Assembly Kimberley 10 February 2001 9 March 2013 [21]
3 Wyatt, BenBen Wyatt   Labor Legislative Assembly Victoria Park Yamatji 11 March 2006 incumbent [22]
4 Farrer, JosieJosie Farrer   Labor Legislative Assembly Kimberley 9 March 2013 incumbent

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CONDOLENCES Bonner, Mr Neville Thomas, AO". Parliament of Australia. 1999. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Biography for RIDGEWAY, Aden Derek". Parliament of Australia. 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ken Wyatt makes Australian political history". Special Broadcasting Service. 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Nova Peris elected as first Indigenous woman in Federal Parliament, ABC News, 9 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Neville Bonner's great-niece Joanna Lindgren appointed Queensland senator by LNP". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2015-05-21. Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Kennedy, (Andrew) David – Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  7. ^ Nick Bryant (September 2013). "Mal Brough crashes through". The Monthly. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Jacqui Lambie talks about Indigenous heritage". SBS. 5 September 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Bourke to be first indigenous MLA". Canberra Times. 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Hon. Linda Jean BURNEY, HonDEd, DipEd MP". Parliament of New South Wales. 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "First Aboriginal politician in NT dies". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Marion Scrymgour - Member for Arafura". Australian Labor Party. 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Malarndirri McCarthy - Member for Arnhem". Australian Labor Party. 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Biography of First Indigenous State Member" (PDF). Queensland Parliament. 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  15. ^ Labor's Leeanne Enoch to become one of two Indigenous MPs, ABC News, 1 February 2015.
  16. ^ "Newman gone: Labor surges in Queensland". Yahoo! 7 News. 2015-02-01. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  17. ^ "Hay, Kathryn Isobel". Parliament of Tasmania. 2006. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Tasmanian Parliamentary History - FAQ – Tasmanian Parliamentary Library. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  19. ^ Kennedy, Cyril James – Parliament of Victoria. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Hon. Ernest Francis Bridge OAM, MLA JP". Parliament of Western Australia. 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Mrs Carol Anne Martin MLA BA". Parliament of Western Australia. 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  22. ^ "Mr Benjamin (Ben) Sana Wyatt MLA LLB, MSc". Parliament of Western Australia. 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.