Koori Mail editor steps down for Indigenous advocacy role
INDIGENOUS people across the Northern Rivers and around the nation will have a strong advocate for Aboriginal rights following the election of Kirstie Parker as co-chair of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples.
Ms Parker will step down as editor of the Lismore-based national indigenous newspaper Koori Mail and join male co-chair elect Les Malezer as congress leaders for two years next month.
Formed in 2010, the independent body claims to be the only national voice for indigenous Australians. It works with government, industry and communities to secure a positive economic, social, cultural and environmental future for indigenous people.
A proud and humbled Ms Parker said she work hard to see all indigenous people benefiting from a strong national united indigenous organisation.
"There are so many challenges that our mob face on every front," she said.
"Investing in our families and helping our families stay together, and on country, and also justice re-investment, preventing our people from coming into contact with the criminal justice system are very high priorities for me."
Ms Parker said her first focus would be liaising with indigenous communities to collectively decide what is important to their communities.
She said she hoped to grow congress membership from the current 5800 nationally.
"I urge indigenous people on the Northern Rivers to get behind the congress, which is independent of government, as it will thrive or fall on its strength and how active its members are."
Congress CEO, Lindon Coombes said the co-chairs elect, together with the six-person board, will lead the group into its next phase.
"Co-chair elections are an important pillar of congress as a national representative body," he said.