Indigenous Australians, By Neville Bonner And Mandawuy Yunupingu

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We 're all Australians, regardless of our ethnic background, political and religious beliefs (NSW Department of Education, 2015). Neville Bonner and Mandawuy Yunupingu are known for being resilient Indigenous Australian leaders, paving the way for the improvement in quality of life for generations of Indigenous Australians, and becoming ‘firsts’ in their respective fields (National Portrait Gallery, 2016). Bonner was the first Indigenous member of Australian Federal Parliament, representing Queensland as the Liberal Party Senator in the 1972, 1974, 1975, and 1980 elections (National Film and Sound Archive, 2015). While Yunupingu was the first Indigenous Australian to become a school principal, and shed light internationally on the mistreatment of Australian Indigenous people through his band ‘Yothu Yindi,’ (National Library of Australia, n.d.). Both men were strong Indigenous rights activists, and inspired a nation to bridge the gaps between Indigenous Australians, and contemporary Australian society. Both men had different experiences when it came to education, with many education rights denied to Aboriginal people at the time. Bonner wasn’t allowed to attend a normal state school, until his grandmother spoke to the head teacher which allowed him to attend, but only to the age of fourteen, at a grade 3 level (ABC, 2000). Whilst Bonner had very little formal education, he learnt throughout his career and life. Whilst Yunupingu gained his Bachelor degree of Education in

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