(Australia) Hypothetically, Would having an Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Prime Minister make any noticeable changes to Australia?

By: | Post date: September 22, 2016 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Australia

Adam Giles:

Adam Graham Giles (born 10 April 1973) is an Australian politician and former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory (2013-2016) as well as the former leader of the Country Liberal Party (CLP) in the unicameral Northern Territory Parliament. Giles was the first head of government in Australia to have Indigenous Australian ancestry.

Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory is a Royal Commission established in 2016 by the Australian Government pursuant to the Royal Commissions Act 1902 to inquire into and report upon failings in the child protection and youth detention systems of the Government of the Northern Territory. The establishment of the commission followed revelations broadcast on 25 July 2016 by the ABC TV Four Corners program which showed abuse of juveniles held in the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre in Darwin.

The executive of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory said that Turnbull undermined the royal commission by permitting Chief Minister Adam Giles, who had ultimate responsibility for the events at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, to have a say in drawing up the terms of reference. Peak Aboriginal organisations, including the Northern and Central Land Councils, AMSANT, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and legal groups, were also critical of Martin’s appointment. The federal Opposition said they were not consulted in the drawing up of the terms of reference, and called for the appointment of two Indigenous co-commissioners.

Ray Douglas’s and Peter Webb’s answer is right: even if the PM were Charles Perkins (Aboriginal activist) or Michael Mansell, it’s naive to think that one person can up-end an entire system. Parliamentary democracy doesn’t work like Roman imperial politics. (Come to think of it, neither did actual Roman imperial politics.)

The sainted Gough Whitlam did make a difference, just as the somewhat less sainted Lyndon B. Johnson did in the US. That took leadership, but it also took timing. Gough or Lyndon in 1920 wouldn’t have achieved as much.

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