Linda Burney becomes first Indigenous woman elected to Australia's lower house

Jul 4, 2016 13:08 IST

Linda Burney Linda Burney, a former teacher, on 2 July 2016 became the first Indigenous woman elected to the House of Representatives (lower house) of the Parliament of Australia. She achieved the fete after claiming victory in the marginal seat of Barton.

She won the seat as a candidate of the centre-left Labour Party in the national polls.

With this, she joins first Aboriginal MP Ken Wyatt of the conservative Liberal Party who was elected in 2010. Olympian Nova Peris was the first indigenous woman in the upper house of the Parliament.

Linda Burney

• In 2003, Burney (59) became the first woman Aboriginal to enter the New South Wales state parliament.

• She also was the first Aborigine to gain a Diploma of Teaching at Charles Sturt University.

• She had served on the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and with international United Nations working groups. 

• She is of Wiradjuri descent and grew up in Whitton, a small town in south west NSW near Leeton.

• She served in the state parliament for 13 years where she was deputy leader for five years.

• In 2005, she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Training.

• After 2007 election, she became Minister for Fair Trading, Minister for Youth, and Minister for Volunteering.

• In September 2008 she was promoted to Minister for Community Services.

• In December 2009 she was appointed Minister for the State Plan.

• She lost her portfolios following the change of government at the 2011 state election.

• In December 2014, she became the interim leader of the opposition after the resignation of John Roberson.

• She is an ambassador of the Australian woman Education Foundation.

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