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Catholic commission welcomes Senator Ridgeway's appointment

    National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) Chairperson Ms Vicki Walker took the opportunity to congratulate Senator Aden Ridgeway on his appointment as the deputy leader of the Australian Democrats.
    Ms Walker acknowledged the appointment as an important first for Aboriginal people.
    Senator Ridgeway is the first Aboriginal person to achieve a leadership position in a parliamentary party. He was elected in 1998 and is the second Aboriginal person to enter Federal Parliament after Liberal Neville Bonner.
    While Senator Ridgeway and the Democrats negotiated John Howard's statement of regret on the stolen generation in 1999, he took a strong stand against the Government when it issued a declaration that there was no stolen generation. His firmly-held position is that Reparation and Healing Commissions need to be established before healing of the Stolen Generation can take place.
    According to a statement released yesterday by NATSICC, Senator Ridgeway is a strong campaigner for treaty and the overturning of mandatory sentencing. It says Senator Ridgeway's appointment promises to continue to bring issues for Aboriginal people to the fore.