Prominent Indigenous leader Noel Pearson, a leading proponent of constitutional recognition for Australia’s First Peoples, will join a senior advisory group tasked with overseeing the design of a “voice” to governments.
Mr Pearson, the Cape York Partnership founder, is among 17 notable Australians appointed on Friday by Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt to help develop a model that ensures Indigenous Australians are heard at all levels of government.
He joins former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner Mick Gooda, co-chair of the Joint Council on Closing the Gap Pat Turner, prominent Jesuit priest and lawyer Frank Brennan, Galarrwuy Yunupingu, leader of the Gumatj clan of Arnhem Land and chairman of the Northern Land Council, and emerging Indigenous leader Benson Saulo. Sky News Australia presenter and columnist for The Australian, Chris Kenny, Anindilyakwa Land Council chairman Tony Wurramarrba and Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar have also been appointed.
Mr Pearson has been a vocal critic of the Morrison government’s refusal to enshrine an Indigenous “voice” into Australia’s constitution, and was among a group of 40 leaders that last month accused Mr Wyatt of making policy decisions “on the run” and failing to consult them about the process for a proposed referendum.