The delegation to Mabo Day has been the first opportunity for a face to face meeting this year, timed well for a productive agenda to be met. The committee met with the late Koiki Mabo’s wife, Bonita Mabo, as well as other senior Torres Strait Islanders at the event. The benefits of unions and indigenous people working together in a formal relationship through Social Compacts was discussed, reaffirming that unions walk alongside indigenous people in their struggles.
The great work that the MUA has done in empowering indigenous members was recognised by the ACTU Indigenous Committee who held their meetings in conjunction with ours. A full agenda was addressed in a short time frame, the committees jointly addressing the ALP election campaign and indigenous strategies, work on an ACTU indigenous media campaign, the naming of an indigenous leadership program in unionism, and social compacts.
ACTU Secretary David Oliver attended the meeting to brief the committee on the ACTU “Join, For a Better Life” media campaign and to seek advice regarding how to reach our indigenous members and non members. Dave was impressed by the professionalism displayed and the contribution of the MUA.
Another significant guest to the meeting was Rod Little from the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples was formed to and represent Australia’s indigenous people. The Committee’s made many suggestions on how the National Congress could improve and resolved to follow the suggestions up with a formal letter to the leadership.
This years attendance to the Mabo Day celebrations was all the more valuable because of the interaction with the ACTU Committee, learning from the way that they function. Indigenous members from all branch’s are welcome to become involved and have your voice heard on the committee.
Call committee Chair Patrick Neliman on 0417 996 636 to find out more.