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Federal Election - Aboriginal Women Candidates

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Candid Conversation: Federal Election - Aboriginal Women Candidates

With less than two weeks to go, the 2022 Australian Federal Election is shaping up to be a watershed moment for cultural diversity in Australian politics.

Just this week, CEO Tharini Rouwette of the Centre of Multicultural Political Engagement, Literacy and Leadership (CoMPELL) launched the country's first ever 'List of Parties and Independents with Multicultural candidates', and the data speaks for itself.

With over 22 candidates of colour running for the Liberal Party (historically overwhelmingly pale, stale and male) we can be assured that the dial has shifted and our calls for cultural diversity in politics are being heard. On the other side of the Coalition, the Nationals have backed only 1 Aboriginal candidate yet the United Australia Party has tapped into the zeitgeist to support 10 candidates of colour. Surprisingly, the One Nation Party supported four people of colour to run for office and many of the smaller political parties show significant, if not majority, representation of people of colour.

For this Candid Conversation, we reached out to more than 10 Indigenous candidates from the Liberal, National, Labor, Greens and Independent parties and found four Aboriginal Women who could commit to this conversation during their hectic campaign schedules.


Senator Dorinda Cox-Yamatji-Noongar(Senate Candidate for Greens WA)

Dorinda Cox is a Yamatji-Noongar woman with a strong record of working for social justice in her community; locally, globally and nationally.

She is the mother of two daughters and small business owner. Dorinda has over 20 years’ experience working in government and non-government sectors and has made significant contributions to policy and advocacy in the areas of domestic violence, child protection and Aboriginal Justice.

Dorinda worked in the non-government and government sectors and was an Australian Government representative on several delegations on gender equality at the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women in New York at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation in Peru and also UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Thailand. In 2013, Dorinda started her own business, Inspire Change Consulting Group, to advise government bodies and departments on social issues, policy and advocacy work.

Clr Trish Frail – Ngemba  (Candidate for Parkes, Greens NSW)

Aboriginal Businesswoman Trish Frail has a long history of working locally, state-wide, nationally and globally in social justice areas and community services. She specialises in domestic violence, homelessness, community development as well as small business.

When her local council decided to build a Nuclear Waste Dump in Brewarrina, Trish started a campaign called ‘No Bunda Bunda on Ngemba land’ to prevent the transportation and dumping of nuclear waste in her community.  As a result of the success of that campaign and her wide-spread support in the community, Trish was recently elected as Councillor to the Brewarrina Shire Council.

Trish says “I love my hometown of Brewarrina and when I was asked to nominate for the Parkes region I thought about it and realised that I am passionate about issues that effect the people in the Parkes region and I can take my passion to the people and get as many votes as possible aiming to be elected with a lot of campaigning with getting a positive name for the Greens.”

Jackie Bennett - Kamilaroi/Bigambul (No. 2 Senate Candidate for the Australian Federation Party QLD)

Jackie is a Kamilaroi/Bigambul woman from St George in SW Queensland and Director of her consultancy business “Connecting 2 Culture” which provides cultural consultancy services to early childhood institutions, schools, government and NGOs that seek to improve and build on services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. Prior to this, Jackie worked at Melbourne University where she implemented the “First 1000 Days Australia” program in 2018-2019.

Jackie is a World Forum Foundation Global Leader for Young Children, and also a Director on the Koobara Kindergarten and Pre-Prep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation Board. She is dedicated to educating and uplifting awareness of early childhood educators, family support agencies and government departments about the importance of embedding her heritage and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in classrooms and organisations so that families and community members feel comfortable to access appropriate services.

Tabatha Young – (Candidate for Bonner QLD)

Tabatha Young is a fierce advocate for equal opportunity and equal access to essential services in the Bonner community.  As an Aboriginal woman, Tabatha has spent her entire career ensuring a level playing field for all in the justice system and that community understand their rights, particularly for community women and families who are facing Domestic Violence and the Child Protection System.

As a local mum in Bonner, Tabatha made the decision to run as she feels it is time for change in our community. Tabatha sees families are being left behind by Scott Morrison and his government with growing gap payments and waiting lists for health services. Not to mention inaction around critical sectors such as Aged Care that are crying out for reform after the Royal Commission into Aging.  Tabatha is a strong advocate for the community of Bonner and says "It’s time for a new face for Bonner."

Candid Conversation: Federal Election - Aboriginal Women Candidates

Date:  Thursday 12 May 2022

Time: 7.00-8.00pm AEST

Venue: Zoom (link emailed 2 hours before event)


Co-facilitated by Directors of Politics in Colour© Global - Kat Henaway (Mer/Mua Torres Strait Islands) and Deadly Politics - Warren Roberts (Thunghutti/Bundjalung).

This initiative is proudly supported by @Deadly Politics in its commitment to diversity in politics.

For future events including Australia’s culturally diverse candidates and politicians, connect to our Facebook Page @politicscolour.

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