National Congress of Australia's First Peoples

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National Congress of Australia's First Peoples
Public company limited by guarantee
Founded 2010
Key people
Kirstie Parker (Co-Chair)
Les Malezer (Co-Chair)
Website The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples

The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples is the national representative body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The Congress was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee in April 2010. As a company the Congress is owned and controlled by its membership and is independent of Government. Its Co-Chairs are Kirstie Parker and Les Malezer. Chamber Directors, other Board members, are Venessa Curnow, Rod Little, Mark McMillan, Gerry Moore, Amala Groom and Daphne Yarram.[1] Co-Chairs are elected for a term of two years. Chamber Directors are elected for four year terms, three at each election every two years.

Corporate structure[edit]

The Congress is a Public Company limited by guarantee.[2][3] The first National Congress meeting of 120 delegates was held in June 2011, with subsequent meetings in September 2012 and July 2013. The 120 delegates nominate every 2 years to attend the annual forum. Chambers 1 & 2 hold elections for their 40 delegates. Organisations that are members of those chambers have the right to vote for these delegates. Individual Congress Members that nominate to be in Chamber 3 are assessed against criteria by both the Ethics Council and the National Board. Gender parity and adequate representation of the membership are included as part of the process to pick the 40 members for this chamber. The Board is supported by an Ethics Council – a special body of experts who provide independent advice on standards and guidelines


Australian Human Rights Commissioner Mick Gooda welcomed the formation as a milestone moment for Indigenous Australians.[4] Northern Land Council CEO Kim Hill also welcomed the formation of the Congress.[5] Aboriginal activist Noel Pearson criticised the Congress as "a blackfella's wailing wall".[2] Australian conservative journalist and political commentator Andrew Bolt has described the Congress as funding "professional aborigines" instead of Aboriginal people "you imagine your taxes helping".[6]

See also[edit]