HON LINDA BURNEY MP
Linda Burney is a proud Wiradjuri woman and was the first Indigenous Australian to be elected to the NSW Parliament and the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to the Australian House of Representatives. In 2018, she was appointed the Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services, and in 2019, the Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians. Burney graduated from Charles Sturt University with a degree in teaching in 1978; she was one of the university's first Aboriginal Australian graduates.
During her teaching career she helped establish the first Aboriginal Education Unit within the NSW Department of Education, and within this created the first NSW Aboriginal Education Policy. She was elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly for Canterbury in 2003, and in 2016 was elected to the Australian House of Representatives for Barton.
Burney is strongly motivated by her Indigenous identity, stating in her maiden speech in parliament that she is guided by her 'Aboriginality, being a woman and being a change maker in the social justice space'. Her time within parliament reflects her longstanding dedication to working to prevent family violence and promote Indigenous affairs. She is a firm advocate for the preselection of Aboriginal politicians into winnable seats. For Burney, having First Nations politicians ensures that Indigenous issues are front and centre in parliament.
Burney was the National Convenor of the EMILY's List Partnership for Equity Network and is a supporter of the current First Nations EMILY's List Australia program. She is an active member of EMILY's List Australia.