We’ve got to come together, that’s what we want for Australia. As one people. We’re all Australians, regardless of your ethnic background, regardless of your political belief, regardless of your religious beliefs we are all Australians.
We as Aboriginal people still have to fight to prove that we are straight out plain human beings, the same as everyone else. You know, I grew up, born on a government blanket under a palm tree. I lived under lantana bushes, I’ve seen more dinner times than I’ve seen dinners, I’ve known discrimination, I’ve known prejudice, I’ve known all of those things… but some of that is still with us… and it’s got to be changed…
For the first time in the history of this country there was an aboriginal voice in the parliament and that gave me an enormous feeling of overwhelming responsibility. I made people aware, the lawmakers in this country, I made them aware of indigenous people. I think that was an achievement.
As they were leading me up, I looked up and around the galleries and I could feel the whole Aboriginal race, of those who had gone before, were all up there, and I could visualise, I could hear voices and amongst those voices was the voice of my grandfather saying, ‘It’s alright now boy, you are finally in the council with the Australian Elders. Everything is now going to be alright.’