New Congress Co-Chairs
Reconciliation Australia has warmly welcomed the election of the Co-Chairs of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Les Malezer, a Gubbi Gubbi – Butchulla man from Queensland and Kirstie Parker, a Yuwallarai woman from NSW.
CEO Leah Armstrong said the election will strengthen Australia’s peak Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative body at a critical time in the country’s reconciliation process.
“The Congress elections have resulted in a continued strong national leadership for Australia’s First Peoples and Reconciliation Australia looks forward to maintaining our close working relationship with Congress,” she said. “I am delighted that Kirstie Parker, a Reconciliation Australia Director, has been elected as the Female Co-Chair.”
“As well as editing the Koori Mail, Kirstie has been a pro-active member of the RA Board and an extremely effective advocate for the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“She has a wealth of experience across government, media and the arts and has demonstrated the sort of strong leadership skills that are so necessary in representing the aspirations of our people across the country.”
Ms Armstrong said that the re-election of Les Malezer as Male Co-Chair will provide continuity to the Congress leadership.
“As Australia moves towards a referendum on constitutional recognition of First Peoples, the National Congress will be increasingly important in ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are properly engaged with and informed about the process,” she said. “I am confident that both Kirstie and Les will facilitate this community engagement.”
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need a strong representative voice and I believe they have that this will continue with the newly elected Congress leadership.”
Ms Armstrong also paid tribute to the significant achievements of current Congress Co-Chair Jody Broun, a Yindjibarndi woman from WA.
“Jody was critical in steering the National Congress through its first two years and establishing a professional and responsive national body; I wish her every success in her future endeavours,” concluded Leah Armstrong.
The Co-Chairs elect will commence their two year terms in August.