11 December 2014 at 9:54 am
The Federal Government has reappointed vocal indigenous advocate Mick Gooda as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.
Gooda has been an advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for over 25 years and was first appointed to the role within the Australian Human Rights Commission in February 2010.
“During that time, Mr Gooda has provided thoughtful leadership across a range of Indigenous policy issues,” Federal Attorney General, Senator George Brandis said.
“In particular, in his role as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mr Gooda has been a strong advocate for the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“During this time, he has worked closely with Indigenous and community leaders, constitutional experts and parliamentary members to support progress towards a referendum for reform of the Australian Constitution.”
Mick Gooda has co-chaired the Close the Gap Campaign, which aims to raise the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to that of the non-Indigenous population.
“In the past year alone, Mr Gooda has played an integral role in progressing the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023, and in launching the Prime Minister’s Closing the Gap Report in early 2014,” Senator Brandis said.
At the launch of the Social Justice and Native Title Report 2014 last week, Gooda said: “I am ever grateful to those who have paved the way before me in this role – Professor Mick Dodson, Ms Zita Antonios, Dr Bill Jonas and Dr Tom Calma – and I acknowledge their dedication, vision and commitment.”
“We are coming together on a national level for an exciting new era of Indigenous representation, this time with cultural authority.We can achieve social justice for our peoples. It is within reach.
“There is much cause for optimism, but also much urgent work to be done.We need our political leaders to cut through the ‘muddled narrative’ and lack of clarity by engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the matters that so affect us, and we all need to act now,” he said.
The re-appointment will be for a period of two years commencing on 1 February 2015.