Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

First Australian Indigenous woman elected to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, welcomed the election of the first Australian Indigenous woman, Ms Megan Davis, to the United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The Permanent Forum is the pre-eminent UN body on Indigenous matters. While Ms Davis was nominated by the Australian Government, she will serve as an independent expert.

It is the first time the Australian Government has nominated an Indigenous person to a UN body.

Megan Davis is an outstanding candidate for the position and her nomination demonstrates the Government’s commitment to engagement with the United Nations, and in particular with the Permanent Forum, in which Australia is an active participant.

Ms Davis is a leading scholar on Indigenous legal rights and international law. She is the Director of the Indigenous Law Centre at the University of New South Wales, and has been active in the United Nations as an advocate for Indigenous rights, particularly for women.

The nomination of Ms Davis by the Government was another step in its pursuit of a new relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians based on mutual trust, respect and understanding.

Ms Davis received the highest number of votes in her group in the election by members of the UN’s Economic and Social Council.

Professor Mick Dodson is currently a member of the Permanent Forum, on which he has served with distinction. Professor Dodson will finish his term later this year.