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21st century Australia must embrace living to 100 or more – the economic and employment potential, the cost challenges and the growing resource of experience and power in our burgeoning older generations. Their safety and wellbeing is paramount. We want the very best for our older people and it is important they are respected and valued. In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies they are revered as ‘wisdom-givers’, ‘history books’ and guides for the future. All older Australians should be treated this way. Major reviews flag new thinking about options to support older people, stronger regulation and how aged care needs to change over the longer term. We must build on our reform agenda, continue working with communities and the aged care sector, changing our mindset to maximise the care and the opportunities that come with increased longevity.
Ken Wyatt was elected in 2010 as the Federal Member for Hasluck, an electorate East of Perth, making history as the first Indigenous Member of the House of Representatives. In September 2013 Ken became the first Member for Hasluck re-elected for a second term. Since his election to Parliament in 2010, Ken has worked tirelessly to be a strong advocate for his electorate and to help build a stronger local community.
In 2015 Ken again made history as the first Indigenous member of the Federal Executive after being sworn in as the Assistant Minister for Health, responsible for Aged Care service delivery and implementation, as well as for Dementia.
In January 2017, Ken made history again as the first Indigenous Minister to serve in a Federal Government, after being appointed as the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.
Before entering politics Ken worked in community roles in the fields of Health and Education including the District Director for the Swan Education District, Director of Aboriginal Health in New South Wales and Western Australia.
Not only has Ken had an extensive career in health and education, he has also made an enormous contribution to the wider community in training and mentoring young people. This was recognised in 1996 when Ken was awarded the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Later, in 2000, Ken was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal for ‘his efforts and contribution to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mainstream Australian society in education and health.’
Ken brings his knowledge in the areas of Health and Education to his role as Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, as well as a lifetime of experiences in raising a family and being part of the local Perth community.