Reconciliation Australia (RA) welcomes the appointment of Ken Wyatt as the first Aboriginal person to hold the Indigenous Affairs portfolio and the first to hold a Cabinet position.
RA CEO, Karen Mundine, said the appointment of Mr Wyatt was particularly significant, coming at the start of National Reconciliation Week.
“Ken Wyatt is highly respected for his hard work over many decades for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly in the health and education sectors,” said Ms Mundine. “His elevation to Cabinet is a good sign that this new Morrison Government is serious about advancing the reconciliation agenda.”
“It is also further evidence that reconciliation is neither partisan, nor owned by one side of politics,” she said. “On this 2019 National Reconciliation Week, Mr Wyatt’s appointment will be a confidence-booster for the vast majority of Australians who support our vision for a truly just, equitable and reconciled Australia – according to the latest Australian Reconciliation Barometer, 90% of Australians believe the relationship between First Peoples and other Australians is important.”
“Mr Wyatt’s appointment and the signing, prior to the election, of an historic partnership agreement with First Nations peak bodies to design, implement and evaluate new COAG closing the gap targets are sign-posts that the Prime Minister is serious in finding a way forward,” said Ms Mundine
Ms Mundine was also heartened by the Prime Minister’s reported comments on the weekend that he is ‘committed to getting an outcome on constitutional recognition’. “It’s important that the Voice to Parliament is progressed in this term of parliament and that the Prime Minister work with First Peoples to lead that process to a referendum,” Ms Mundine said.
“Reconciliation Australia looks forward to working with the Prime Minister, Minister Wyatt and his Cabinet colleagues in the new Morrison Government to ensure that the reconciliation aspirations of both First Nations people and the wider Australian public are met,” concluded Ms Mundine.