A first indigenous Australian was chosen for a seat in the parliament cabinet. Ken Wyatt has made history by being the first Aboriginal person to hold the title of a cabinet minister for indigenous Australians. He wore the traditional cloak on his first day in parliament.
Indigenous Australians are celebrating the victory of Ken Wyatt as the country is debating over indigenous recognition and inequality. Australia houses various indigenous peoples from the Australian mainland and Tasmania. These group of people has a common and complex genetic history. A group of distinct people, they have spread in Australia over a history of 50,000 years, but they have developed a self-identity only over the past 200 years.
In the past, Australia has had only ten indigenous lawmakers in the parliament. Indigenous make up to 3% of Australia’s population, but lack parliamentary representation by being a minority group. Indigenous got the right to vote in federal elections only in 1962.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement of Wyatt’s inclusion in a surprise election victory on May 18. Morrison also announced the establishment of a new “national indigenous Australians agency”.
Reports have cited Ken Wyatt’s work in health, education and aged care and reports anticipate of his contribution for the indigenous masses, who have experienced inequality in employment rates, incarceration, and schools.
According to reports, Australia is the only commonwealth country which has never known to make a treaty with its indigenous people. Associate Prof O’Sullivan, who is an expert on indigenous representation across Commonwealth parliaments reported in a statement, “Indigenous people have been quite deliberately kept on the margins of politics for so long. But it also shows the depth of indigenous exclusion that it’s taken this long since Federation (in 1901) and that we are celebrating this moment as something novel or unusual.”