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During NAIDOC week and in his first major Address as Indigenous Affairs Minister, Ken Wyatt will lay out the pathway towards possible constitutional recognition for Australia’s first peoples and the importance of its view on the voice to parliament.
Ken Wyatt AM will outline how he and the Government want to do things differently – how partnerships, pride, respect and responsibility underpin his vision for a better future for Indigenous Australians and a stronger nation, even more confident in its cultural heritage and history.
Our first Aboriginal Minister for Indigenous Australians will detail the critical role of education, culture, community safety, suicide prevention, health, hope, employment and business development.
He will share the importance of co-designing and planning with Indigenous Australians at all levels, from the grassroots to peak representative bodies – and how inclusion and understanding is the only pathway towards Constitutional recognition.
As he has said, his dream is to ensure the greatness of our many Indigenous nations is reflected in the greatness of our Australian nation, now and forever.
Ken Wyatt was elected in 2010 as the Federal Member for Hasluck, located east of Perth, making history as the first Aboriginal Member of the House of Representatives.
The traditional garment worn by Ken on special occasions is a booka, a traditional kangaroo skin cloak presented to him by Perth’s Noongar elders and decorated with cockatoo feathers that signify his status in Noongar culture as a leader.
Since his election, Ken has worked tirelessly to be a strong advocate for his electorate to help build a stronger local community.
In 2015 Ken became the first Aboriginal member of the Federal Executive after being sworn in as Assistant Minister for Health, responsible for Aged Care, as well as for Dementia, the Organ and Tissue Authority and Australian Hearing.
In January 2017, Ken made history as the first Aboriginal Minister to serve in a Federal Government, after being appointed as Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.
In August 2018, he was made Minister for Senior Australians & Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.
In May 2019, he again made history when he became the first Aboriginal person to be made Minister for Indigenous Australians.
Before entering politics Ken worked in community and senior government roles in the fields of health and education including as Director of Aboriginal Health in both New South Wales and Western Australia.
In addition to Ken’s extensive public service career, he has made an enormous contribution to the wider community which was recognised in 1996 when he was awarded the Order of Australia for services to health, education and Indigenous affairs.
In 2000, Ken received a Centenary of Federation Medal for his contribution to improving the quality of life of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mainstream Australian society.