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Journalist to nominate for Peris Senate spot

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Former Northern Territory government minister and journalist Malarndirri McCarthy has confirmed she will nominate for the senate spot to be vacated by Nova Peris.

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“I have decided to throw my hat in and nominate for the NT Labor Senate spot,” McCarthy posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

“I sincerely wish Nova Peris and her family all the best with her future plans. It was a privilege to cover the historic occasion of Nova & her family on her entry as the first Indigenous woman into Federal Parliament.”

As InDaily reported yesterday, progressives in Labor are pushing for McCarthy to replace Peris on the Senate ticket.

McCarthy is a Yanyuwa woman from Borroloola, on the Gulf of Carpentaria, and was born in Katherine.

She held the seat of Arnhem as part of the Labor NT government from 2005 to 2012, and held several portfolios, including children and families, child protection, women’s policy, senior Territorians, young Territorians, and statehood.

She was a former ABC newsreader and reporter, and most recently worked for SBS and NITV as a journalist and presenter.

“I am deeply humbled to be invited by the ALP to nominate and will respect the internal process of the NT & Federal ALP in deciding who they choose to represent the NT in the Senate,” McCarthy wrote.

“Thank you to all who have encouraged me in every area of my life, in particular my beautiful sons.”

Peris’s chief-of-staff, Ursula Raymond, is considering whether to nominate to replace her boss.

“I am considering my option to nominate. That’s all I will say,” she said today.

The Darwin-born Ms Raymond has worked for the Fred Hollows Foundation, the ABC, the Northern Land Council, and has held board and management committee positions in organisations including the North Australia Aboriginal Legal Aid Service, the Danila Dilba Health Service, Karu Aboriginal & Ilander Child Care Agency, the Top End Women’s Legal Service, and Imparja Television.

Peris, a gold medal-winning Olympian, is widely tipped to take a senior role with the AFL.

Her decision to leave politics after only three years in the job has been criticised, with former ALP national president Warren Mundine saying she was chosen just to give Labor credibility in bringing indigenous Australians into the party’s ranks.

Mundine said for Peris to now let down her team and quit after just three years showed her appointment was a mistake.

“At the time I thought it was important that the Labor Party did make a stand in this area,” Mundine told the Bolt Program on Sky News on Tuesday.

Peris was chosen by former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard in a “captain’s pick” at the 2013 election, becoming the first female indigenous federal politician.

Mundine said Labor had no credibility when it claimed to be the party for Aboriginal people.

“It never, ever actually preselected Aboriginal people in winnable seats,” he said.

“When you look at some of the people that they actually put in parliament, you wouldn’t feed half of them, they were so hopeless.”

Yet there were many credible Aboriginal candidates, he said.

The Liberal Party had embraced a number of standout indigenous MPs including Ken Wyatt, Neville Bonner and Bess Price.

“You wonder what are the problems with the Labor Party in this area,” he said.

Peris replaced then Labor Senator Trish Crossin, who Mundine said was caught up in the crazy politics of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd period.

– with AAP

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