Amid the furore over Julia Gillard's 'captain's pick' Labor candidate Nova Peris speaks to NITV news about her pre-selection, her Indigenous roots and her passion for remote communities.
Source
AAP, SBS
23 Jan 2013 - 4:30 PM  UPDATED 3 Sep 2013 - 6:14 PM

There's been uproar following Prime Minister Julia Gillard's endorsement of Indigenous former athlete Nova Peris for the Northern Territory's number one Senate ticket spot in the federal election.

Ms Gillard exercised what she called a captain's pick to override the preselection processes for Northern Territory Labor and to recruit Ms Peris.
But Ms Peris has told NITV she is ready for the job.

The Prime Minister says she felt it was important for federal Labor to embrace an Indigenous woman of what she called incredible merit.

NITV news spoke to Nova Peris about how she felt - about Ms Gillard's move, and the subsequent fallout. Peris said the news was sinking in, but that she was ready for it.

'It's something that I haven't just thought about overnight. I thought about it a decade ago.'

'I know my connections back to country.'

Ms Peris said there were still indigenous people suffering in remote communities and it was her aim to work for them via the Labor party.

'I've always been a long time Labor voter...I believe in their policies.'

The PM dismissed claims she dumped NT senator Trish Crossin because she was a Kevin Rudd supporter, in order to recruit indigenous athlete Peris to the Labor fold.

The decision sidelines Senator Crossin who has served in parliament for 15 years.

Labor left co-convenor Senator Doug Cameron described the move as brutal and "a night of the long knives against a senator".

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott welcomed more indigenous people in national politics but said Ms Gillard had shown poor judgment.

"I don't want to pretend to be an expert on the rather murky machinations of the Labor Party but I guess we've seen the prime minister involved in a political hit on Kevin Rudd, a political hit on Harry Jenkins, the former speaker, and now this political hit on Trish Crossin," Mr Abbott told Macquarie Radio.