• Minister for Indigenous Health & Aged Care with wife Anna and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at unveiling of his portrait at Parliament House (AAP)Source: AAP
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled a portrait of Australia's first Indigenous federal Minister, Ken Wyatt, in Parliament House today.
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29 May 2017 - 1:53 PM  UPDATED 29 May 2017 - 3:09 PM

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled a portrait of Australia's first Indigenous federal Minister, Ken Wyatt, at Parliament House today. 

Mr Wyatt was promoted to the ministry as Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care in January, and was the first Indigenous Australian to be elected to the House of Representatives in 2010. 

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Wyatt sworn in as Australia’s first Indigenous federal minister
Mr Wyatt AM has taken on the role of Aged Care and Indigenous Health Minister.

Mr Wyatt says the acknowledgement is humbling. 

"When you come into this place you don't expect to have a portrait and I didn't come here for that. I came here to represent my electorate, and I've just enjoyed all the friendships I've made. It's been great," he told NITV News. 

"When you look at the painting, you'll see a connection of history, of an old culture but a contemporary context of being within a leadership role, and being an advocate for all of those within our society." 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Minister Wyatt's presence in the Parliament has inspired all of us and advanced the cause of reconciliation. 

""You have got a presence, and a calm, and a wisdom that all of us are inspired by. You have advanced that cause of reconciliation so much simply by your advocacy, your presence, the love that you show. The way you represent the people of Hasluck, the people of Australia, but you represent and embody the oldest, continuous, living culture on our planet." 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten acknowledged Minister Wyatt's historic achievements as well.  

"There's been 1093 MPs who have served before you, not a large number but nonetheless a significant number. And every one of them came from different walks of life throughout the history of our Commonwealth. But none had a connection to the oldest continuing culture in the world, none were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. You were the first person to break that chain," he said. 

Artist Mary Moore from Western Australia hopes the painting reveals the different aspects of Mr Wyatt's personality. 

"I hope it shows all the strength, all the passion, and hopefulness and sadness that you worth with everyday," she said. 

Mr Wyatt thanked his wife Anna and his parents, particularly his mother who was a member of the Stolen Generations and grew up on the Roelands Mission in Western Australia.  

"I know that if my mother was sitting there Anna would have to stop her from crying, because she would cry with pride, and my father would be proud," he said. 

He also acknowledged other Indigenous members of Parliament Labor senator Patrick Dodson and Labor MP Linda Burney. 

"Both of those two have been with me for thirty-plus years on some the fights we've had over the years nationally for all of the things we've wanted to change." 

The Prime Minister also announced he had commissioned two additional portraits of former Labor senator Nova Peris, the first indigenous woman to serve in the Senate, and of Labor frontbencher Linda Burney, the first indigenous woman to serve in the lower house.

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