First gay indigenous MP Chansey Paech gives maiden speech

CHANSEY PAECHVoters in the Northern Territory have elected Australia’s first openly gay indigenous man to office, voting for Chansey Paech to represent the state seat of Namatjira.

The Labor MP and former Alice Springs town councillor told the chamber in his maiden speech that he is proud to represent Australia’s diversity.

“Madam Speaker, I am young, I am gay, I am black, I am a true blue Territorian,” Mr Paech said.

“I am a Centralian man, I am the nation’s first openly gay, Indigenous parliamentarian. I am eternally proud of who I am and where I come from, I own it and wear it with pride.”

Mr Paech’s election comes after Labor’s landslide victory over the preceding Country Liberal Party government, who had held the Top End since 2012.

The newly elected MP used his maiden speech to condemn discrimination and voice his support for marriage equality in Australia.

“I look forward to the day when this country will recognise my rights as equal rights, when I too can marry in my country, on my country, as a recognised first Australian,” Paech said.

“This Chamber will always be a place for members to explore the wonders of diversity, to represent interest groups and participate in robust discussions, but I will never allow or tolerate discrimination, homophobia, or hate speech in this Assembly.”

Paech also said he was honoured to reflect the diversity and future of the Australian Labor Party.

“Becoming a member of parliament as a gay Aboriginal man is a good representation and reflects well on the Northern Territory and it sends a really good message to our young people.”

The 13th Parliament of the Northern Territory opened today under the territory’s new Chief Minister, Michael Gunner.

OIP Staff





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