Neville Bonner (1922 – 1999) first indigenous Australian politician
“I’m not quite sure what forces there were that helped me to do better than some of my counterparts did. I suppose being a Christian, I believe that God’s hand was in it all, God works in mysterious ways, there’s wonders to behold”.
Neville Bonner became the first indigenous Australian to sit in the Australian Parliament. He was elected in his own right in 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1980.
So, do you think that it was your achievements and the self-esteem that brought, that enabled you to avoid that past?
Well, I suppose so, I’m not quite sure what forces there were that helped me to do better than some of my counterparts did. I suppose being a Christian, I believe that God’s hand was in it all, God works in mysterious ways, there’s wonders to behold.
I saw my responsibilities as a parliamentarian representing a state and representing the country in these orders of priority. My first responsibility was to God because I’m a Christian, my second responsibility was to my nation because I’m an Australian, my third responsibility was to my state because I’m a Queenslander, my fourth responsibility was to the Party that I was a part of and who gave me the opportunity to get into parliament, but interwoven through the whole sequence was my almost all-consuming, burning desire to help my own people, the Aboriginal community, to become respected, responsible citizens within the broader Australian community, retaining where desired ethnic and cultural identity.
Neville Bonner: Remembering Australia’s first Indigenous Parliamentarian
Influential Australian aboriginal Christians
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