'I talk the truth': Anthony Mundine signals future in politics


Three-time boxing world champion Anthony Mundine reflects on the 1967 Referendum and what the future holds for Indigenous Australians.

Anthony Mundine has kept a low profile since completing his last fight in February this year.

One of Australia's most recognisable sportsmen, the former three-time world boxing champion is at the cross roads of life.

He's yet to announce his retirement but concedes a 20-year career as a professional athlete is on the brink of ending.

On the eve of his 42nd birthday, Mundine sees himself as a role model for Australia's Indigenous youth and for the future of the Indigenous community at large.

Never short of expressing an opinion, he's proud of his sporting achievements but critical of the governments - past and present - who, he believes, have done little to cater for the Aboriginal cause.

Three-time boxing world champion Anthony Mundine
SBS News

"To me, they're (the federal government) making billions of dollars a week - a day maybe," Mundine said.

"They give Aboriginal people crumbs, but they haven't got a plan."

Mundine says the country's political power brokers continue to neglect the needs of the country's Indigenous community. 

He believes the Aboriginal population as a whole continue to lack self-esteem and enjoy the rights of their counterparts.

"It's sad, really." he said.

Mundine was raised in Sydney's St George district. A converted practicing Muslim, he says he represents a minority population.

"I got the quinella - I am an Aboriginal and a Muslim," he joked.

Mundine has escaped the social issues which he says have enveloped sections of the Indegenous population.

He sees himself as a rare breed.

"But everyone ain't like me," he said.

"I'm one of a kind. I have resilience, I have faith. I have the will power to say no to all the social problems including alcohol, drugs and the other poisons of society."


Mundine wasn't born when the 1967 Referendum was held.

He does, however understand the significance of the occasion when more than 90 per cent of Australians voted 'Yes' to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Census, and to give the Australian Government the power to make laws for the Indigenous peoples.

But he feels black and white Australia are as far apart today as it was prior to the referendum 50 years ago.

Mundine is keen to make a difference.

"I'm trying to educate all Australians," he said. "Most people, including white fellas, are good. It's just the government and the people in power that control how people think."

Mundine says entering federal politics in the near future is a real possibility and wants to make a change for all Australians.

"I'm not a 'yes man'. I talk the truth," he said. "That's what hurts.

"I'm trying to make a change for the better. It's about justice, it's about doing right.

"If you look at the statistics we're (Aboriginals) still down the bottom of the list in every topic."

THE FEED: Young Doctors - The Indigenous-led program


Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch