Here is my official statement as candidate for the National Co-Chair
of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
I make but one promise.
My goal is to immediately establish self-determination for the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Under my leadership local communities will be choosing their own
representatives, making their own decisions, setting their own
priorities and running their own programs. They will be making and
implementing their own plans for the short-term and the long-term.
Families will be re-established as the central unit of community
cohesion and development, and the healing of our communities will
focus upon freeing our people from prisons and foster homes and
bringing them back into safe, caring and growing environments.
Our lands, waters and territories will be secured and be the basis
for our indigenous identity. Our development as Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples will occur in our own territories on our own
terms, because we will be equal to everyone else in terms of our
political, cultural, economic and social wellbeing.
I will be guided by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples. I will keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights on
the international stage. I will hold governments to account for bad
This is not a hollow boast. I have demonstrated that I can bring
in the changes that are needed, that I have the strength, capacity and
experience to change government approaches through purpose,
persistence and intelligence and through my knowledge of government,
laws, protocols and principles.
You will begin this change if you elect me as national co-chair.
This is not about my ego. It is about choosing the right person to do
the right job. Others might make wide promises but I can deliver,
without corruption or conflict, this promise to you. I am your
investment for your future and the success of your future generations.
The National Congress is not the best model. The first elected
leaders must decide if the congress is a body for the government or
for our people. I will lead the changes, as called for by the people.
I will make it into a truly representative organisation where we
choose our own representatives, where local communities are empowered
and where people can feel they are being involved and can be in
control. There will be no corruption in the congress under my
I will bring self-determination to the table and make self-
determination the basis for our identity and survival from now on to
This is my one promise, and this promise is made to you.