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Dr Chris Bourke MLA Article
Winnunga wishes to acknowledge to election of Dr. Chris Bourke, MLA to the ACT Legislative Assembly. Dr. Bourke is the first indigenous MLA to sit in the ACT Legislature. As Dr. Bourke outlined in his inaugural address to the parliament, his great, great grandparents hailed for the Kamilaroi Nation, located in New South Wales, as well as Ireland, England and China.
Dr. Bourke is a trained dentist, having graduated from Melbourne University. He worked with the Victorian Aboriginal Dental Service, practicing out of a traveling dental caravan, as well as in the Northern Territory. There he campaigned for equality between the services offered to the local indigenous population, and non-indigenous miners.
Dr. Bourke moved to Canberra in 1993, and ran a private dental practice for 16 years, along with providing pro-bono work at the Queanbeyan Public Dental Clinic.
Dr. Bourke has a long history of engagement with Indigenous causes, having been President of the Indigenous Dentist’s Association of Australia, and inaugural chairperson of the Indigenous Education Consultative Body in the ACT.
Dr. Bourke used his inaugural address to outline his commitment to Indigenous causes, as the first Indigenous ACT MLA. He spoke of hoping to help redress the balance of under-representation of Indigenous individuals in the houses of parliament across Australia.
Winnunga wishes Dr. Chris Bourke all the best in his new role, and hopes he will serve as another role model for young Indigenous Canberrans.