NATSICC has congratulated Senator Aden Ridgeway on his appointment as the deputy leader of the Australian Democrats – a first for Aboriginal people.
Vicki Walker, chair of
the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) congratulated Senator Ridgeway on behalf of NATSICC. Senator Ridgeway is the first Aboriginal person to achieve a leadership position in
a parliamentary party and is only the second Aboriginal person to enter Federal Parliament after Liberal Neville Bonner. Senator Ridgeway was first elected in 1998.
He is the Democrats spokesperson for
industry, arts, tourism, financial services and regulation, Centenary of Federation and reconciliation.
He was also responsible with the Democrats for negotiating John Howard’s statement of regret on the
stolen generation in 1999, turning around the issue when the Government released a submission stating there was no stolen generation. Senator Ridgeway stated that Reparation and Healing Commissions needed to be
established to begin to aid the healing of the Stolen Generation.
The senator is also a campaigner for a treaty and wants mandatory sentencing to be overturned. His appointment promises to help in bringing
Aboriginal issue to the fore.