Sandy co-chairs historic Friends of First Nations People

Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton co-chairs newly-formed Parliamentary Friends of First Nations People.

By Abbey Cannan

History has been made in Queensland with the very first meeting of newly-formed Parliamentary Friends of First Nations People.

This non-partisan group has been formed as a place to hold important and truthful conversations as everyone – no matter which side of politics they are from – can and should work together towards reconciliation and a prosperous future for all.

Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton is one of the six co-chairs of the group, which she says is an absolute honour.

“To bring the many diverse viewpoints together in conversations that need to be had,“ Ms Bolton said. “This collaboratively with empathy for both indigenous and non-indigenous Queenslanders as part of moving forward together united.“

The group held its first ever meeting on Tuesday night and Ms Bolton said the goals of the group were simple.

“By bringing all political ideologies together outside of Chamber, gives opportunity to identify what contributions can be made, and how, in Queensland’s Path to Treaty,“ she said.

“The first gathering was a wonderful start, with MP’s from all sides of the Chamber meeting some of our indigenous businesses, with our very own Terri Waller from SevGen showcasing both product and their new social enterprise of a native foods farm.“

Minister for Communities and Housing, Member for Algester and proud Quandamooka woman Leeanne Enoch said Queensland was home to two of the world’s longest continuous living cultures in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

“For more than 150 years the Queensland Parliament has determined legislation that has impacted First Nations Peoples in ways that have not always been positive – much of which has led to inter-generational trauma that is still being felt today,” Ms Enoch said.

“As governments across the nation work to Close the Gap, and Queensland begins our Path to Treaty, it’s more important than ever to foster constructive, non-partisan conversations across Parliament and seek common ground based on a shared understanding.”

Member for Cook and proud Kulkalgal woman from the Torres Strait Cynthia Lui said for the first time in history, Queensland currently has three First Nations people hold seats in the Queensland Parliament at the same time.

“We’ve come a long way, but there is still more work to do, and this is what the Parliamentary Friends of First Nations People will achieve,” Ms Lui said.

“We will put politics aside to help work towards a more inclusive and shared future.”