Our @NACCHOChair Donnella Mills congratulates Chansey Paech and Ms Ngaire AhKit on their election as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively, in the NT Parliament. The first time that two Aboriginal people have held these senior positions in an Australian Parliament.

The NACCHO Chair Donnella Mills today congratulated both Chansey Paech, MLA Member for Namatjira and Ms Ngaire AhKit, Member for Karama on their election as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively, in the NT Parliament.

Pictured above with Craig Muir the Sergeant of arms holding the mace

“It is a proud moment in our nation’s history as it is the first time that two Aboriginal people have held these senior positions in an Australian Parliament.

“Mr Paech has Eastern Arrernte and Gurindji links and Ms AhKit has both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander as well as Chinese heritage.

“As Mr Paech said in accepting the role, this would inspire young Aboriginal kids growing up in remote communities across the NT to believe in themselves and follow their dreams as there are options for them in the future.

“I wish them both every success in their new roles,” said Donnella Mills.

From ABC Media

Mr Paech, 33, was previously Deputy Speaker — a role he took on in 2016 when elected to Parliament to represent Namatjira in Central Australia.

In his maiden speech in 2016 he declared: “I am the nation’s first openly gay, Indigenous parliamentarian.

“I am eternally proud of who I am and where I come from, I own and wear it with pride.”

Mr Paech said it was an honour to now be elected to the Speaker position — the NT’s most senior parliamentary role — and he hoped it would inspire young Aboriginal kids growing up in remote communities across the NT to chase their dreams.

“It sends a strong  message for our young kids, growing up, you have to believe in yourself and know that these are options for you in the future,” Mr Paech said.

Member for the Darwin seat of Karama, Ngaree Ah Kit, was also elected as the NT’s new deputy speaker on Tuesday — the first time in history two Aboriginal people have held the positions in an Australian Parliament.

Ms Ah Kit was born and bred in the Territory, and has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander as well as Chinese heritage.

“We’d love to see other Aboriginal representatives heading up to Parliament,” the 39-year-old Deputy Speaker said.

 

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