Cox vows to be a strong Indigenous voice
Western Australia's newest Greens senator has promised to be a strong voice for Aboriginal Australians in parliament, urging for an end to business as usual from the government on Indigenous affairs.
In her first speech to parliament on Tuesday, Dorinda Cox called for the creation of a national treaty and truth-telling process, as well as increased action on preventing Indigenous deaths in custody.
"My job will be to fight for our interests and issues to be heard and considered and to make sure our diverseness and uniqueness is recognised and respected," she said.
The first Indigenous woman to represent WA, Senator Cox took on the position following the resignation of Rachel Siewert.
The senator said her interest in politics started after a trip to Canberra as a teenager in 1994 and reading Paul Keating's landmark Redfern address.
She said during that visit she noticed a distinct lack of Indigenous representation in the parliament.
"As I sat on the chair outside posing for a photo, I knew there were no black politicians here in the parliament since Neville Bonner," Senator Cox said
"It is my dream to recreate this moment and others like it for many more Australian First Nations girls and boys to spark their passion for participation in our political systems, rather than the sorrow or discontent I hear in their voices when they talk about our current system."
Prior to her role in parliament, Senator Cox served on multiple delegations to APEC and the United Nations.
Senator Cox's maiden speech also delved into her family history, with five generations being impacted by Stolen Generation policies.
"I come from the first generation of children to be raised by their parents - one of the lucky ones," she said.
"My Noongar grandparents had to apply for citizenship, not because they were not from here, but because they needed to access rations to feed their children in the 1950s."
The COVID situation meant Senator Cox's family was unable to attend her speech due to border restrictions.
The new senator said she would campaign for a national inquiry into missing and murdered First Nations women.
"The red handprint symbol on my mask I wore into the chamber ... is the symbol of a bloodied hand silencing the voices of those past to tell the stories of what happened to them," she said.
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