1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
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Democracy

ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDERS IN PARLIAMENT

The first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parliamentary representative was Mr Neville Bonner AO (1922–1999) who was elected to federal parliament in 1971 as a Senator for Queensland. Since then there have been a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parliamentarians in both federal and state parliaments (AEC 2010a).

At June 2010, there were no Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of federal parliament. However, there were nine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who were members of state and territory parliaments and legislative assemblies: five of these were women (Parliament of Australia 2009b). Of these nine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, there were:

  • five members of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly (three of whom were women)
  • one female member of the New South Wales parliament
  • one male member of the Tasmanian parliament
  • two members (one male, one female) of the Western Australia parliament.
In the Northern Territory, one-fifth of the Legislative Assembly electorates were represented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

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