THE HON KEN WYATT AM MP

Minister for Indigenous Australians; Federal Member for Hasluck


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Ken Wyatt was elected in 2010 as the Federal Member for Hasluck, located east of Perth, making history as the first Indigenous Member of the House of Representatives.

He continues this tradition of firsts by being the;

  1. First person to hold Hasluck more than once (current serving his fourth term)

  2. First Aboriginal person ever made a Member of the Executive (as Assistant Minister for Health)

  3. First Aboriginal person ever appointed as a Minister of the Crown (as Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health)

  4. First Aboriginal person ever appointed to Cabinet (appointed during Reconciliation Week 2019)

  5. First Aboriginal person ever to lead the Department of Indigenous Affairs (as Minister for Indigenous Australians)


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Background

The traditional garment worn by Ken at special occasions such as his maiden speech is a booka, a kangaroo skin cloak, and was presented to him by Perth’s Noongar elders and decorated with cockatoo feathers that signify his status in Noongar culture.

In September 2013 Ken became the first Member for Hasluck re-elected for a second term, and in 2016 made history once again by winning Hasluck for a third term. Since his election to Parliament in 2010, Ken has worked tirelessly to be a strong advocate for his electorate and to help build a stronger local community.

In 2015 Ken became the first Indigenous member of the Federal Executive after being sworn in as the Assistant Minister for Health, responsible for Aged Care service delivery and implementation, as well as for Dementia, Organ and Tissue Authority and Australian Hearing.

In January 2016 Ken again made history as the first Indigenous Minister to serve in a Federal Government, after being appointed as the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.

In August 2018 Ken was made Minister for Senior Australians & Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.

Before entering politics Ken worked in community and senior government roles in the fields of Health and Education including as Director of Aboriginal Health in both the New South Wales and then later the Western Australia jurisdiction.

In addition to Ken’s extensive career in health and education, he has made an enormous contribution to the wider community in training and mentoring young people. This was recognised in 1996 when Ken was awarded the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. In 2000, Ken was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal for ‘his efforts and contribution to improving the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and mainstream Australian society in education and health.’

Ken brought his knowledge in the areas of health and education to his role as Minister for Senior Australians & Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, as well as a lifetime of personal experiences in his family life and as an active member of the local Hasluck community.

In May 2019, Ken was elected for a fourth term in Parliament by the highest margin he has achieved. On the 26 May 2019 the Prime Minister, The Hon Scott Morrison MP, made a historic announcement that Ken would be the first Aboriginal Cabinet Minister as the first Aboriginal Minister for Indigenous Australians.