ATH TV: Hon Linda Burney MP, Member for Barton


(Ms Burney) [WIRADJURI SPEECH] (Ms Burney) Mr.
Speaker, I’ve said in the language of the
Wiradjuri, my people, I pay respect to the ancient
Ngunnawal and Ngambri. (VO) Hello, welcome
to About the House. The 45th parliament welcomed
37 new members to the House of Representatives, including
the honourable Linda Burney, MP. We caught up with Ms. Burney
to discuss her experiences in the federal parliament,
being the first indigenous female elected to the
house, and her first speech. The response has just
been extraordinary. People– both aboriginal
and non-aboriginal– particularly women– have just said what a great
inspiration, what a role model. It is also a great signal
to young women in particular that politics and
the political arena is a place that
you can be as well. 2017 marked the 50th anniversary
of the 1967 referendum and 25 years of
the Mabo high court decision, which were
commemorated here at Parliament House. Today, we’ve had the ’67
referendum and the Mabo decision remembered. I was 10 years old in 1967
and spent the first 10 years of my life not being
considered worthy to be counted as an Australian citizen. And we had, of course,
the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Mabo decision,
which established a native title law in this country. But importantly,
most importantly, did away with the
falsehood of terra nullius, or empty land, that had
existed in Australia up until the Mabo
decision in ’92. Miss Burney has been
a longtime advocate for indigenous Australians
and highlighted the importance of the parliament’s role in
enacting change in the country. So the federal parliament’s
role is incredibly important. Incredibly important
from the perspective of having the capacity to make
laws like native title that goes across the whole country
and is equally applied in every state and territory. Miss Burney’s first
speech to parliament was one of the most unique
and groundbreaking speeches which followed some
traditional indigenous customs. What really made it
special was the singing by Lynette Riley in
Wiradjuri, welcoming us into the parliament. But also the fact
that the parliament was very flexible in
allowing me to break some of the rules, particularly
the length of the speech, but also being able
to take a Coolamon into the parliament,
and also the wearing of the traditional cloak. But that cloak’s very
special, because the women– my Wiradjuri sister
that sang us in, she actually made
that cloak for me. And those things made it
extraordinarily special. But to be able to speak on
the floor of the parliament in language and to
also be able to tell your story to an
audience that you knew was going to appreciate it– the fact that it is now being
used in school classrooms and universities and it meant
a lot to all Australians is really important and
it’s very important to me. [SINGING IN WIRADJURI] Thanks for watching. For more news about the
House of Representatives, like or follow us
on social media, or subscribe to our newsletter. [SINGING IN WIRADJURI]

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