The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP appointed as the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health

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Published in the HealthBulletin
Posted on:
18 January, 2017

The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP has been appointed as the Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.

He will support the new Health Minister, Greg Hunt, and they will both be sworn in on 24.1.17. at Government House in Canberra.

Ken has broken a number of glass ceilings, he was the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the House of Representatives and the first to be appointed to the executive, he is now the first Aboriginal person to be appointed to a Commonwealth Ministry.

Ken attended the 43rd Australian Parliament as the Member for Hasluck. Donning the Booka – a kangaroo skin coat, decorated with red tailed black cockatoo feathers, Minister Wyatt delivered his maiden speech, in which he declared the following:

“I hope that all governments continue to embrace new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed, where enduring approaches need to change and where the future we all influence is based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.”

Ken is experienced in the health and education sectors. Before his political life, he was the Director of the WA Office of Aboriginal Health and was involved in a similar capacity in New South Wales. He was also the Director of Aboriginal Education with the WA Department of Education.

Ken has Yamatji, Wongi and Noongar heritage and comes from a family who have given significant service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. His cousin, the late Cedric Wyatt, was also a senior public servant and advocated Aboriginal rights for most of his life, as Commissioner of the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority and then the Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Aboriginal Legal Service, which succeeded it. Cedric Wyatt’s son, Ben Wyatt, is the Member for Victoria Park in the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia.

Ken’s passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health is widely celebrated. His work is an inspiration to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those in the health sector, across the nation.