ROOKIE senator and legendary Broome Aboriginal activist Pat Dodson was in Perth recently to tour youth sites and speak to staff at the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service in Midland.
Touring the sites with Hasluck Labor candidate Bill Leadbetter, Mr Dodson said he was happy to meet Swan Youth Services and Midland health workers and talk about issues of importance to each of them.
Dr Leadbetter said he was in Canberra for Senator Dodson’s swearing in and it was a great moment.
“I was lucky enough to be there to witness history,” he said.
Dr Leadbetter has been a historian and educator for most of his working life. He has also specialised in genocide in Australian history along with medieval history.
Mr Dodson has been working with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on constitutional reform and a treaty which are all considered important to Aboriginal people’s recognition on the invasion of their territory.
Mr Shorten has also said he would like to get more Aboriginal representatives in the Parliament like Senator Dodson.
“That is a much better leveller,” Mr Shorten said.
Speaking about constitutional recognition, Senator Dodson said the treaty and constitutional recognition were not mutually exclusive.
While Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he was open to both options, any indications from Malcolm Turnbull on his position on Aboriginal matters of constitutional reform, or a treaty, have not yet been revealed by the PM or his party.
Senator Dodson, was sworn in as a Senator this month and elevated to the role of parliamentary secretary to the Opposition Leader.
Senator Dodson said the “treaty was a big discussion in the community”.