The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians, has been nominated for the 2020 McKinnon Political Leader of the Year for his determination to help create an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. The McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership is a new, non-partisan and independent award that will recognise two outstanding Australian political leaders each year. 3KND welcomes Amanda Vanstone AO who is a McKinnon Prize Ambassador for 2020 and speaks to Gman on Big Brekkie.
Amanda Vanstone entered the Australian Parliament in 1984 and was a Liberal senator for South Australia from 1984 to 2007. She was the only female member of the Howard cabinet following the 1996 election that brought the Coalition to power, where she held several ministerial portfolios. After her resignation from the Senate in 2007, Amanda served as the Australian ambassador to Italy until July 2010. Amanda was a commissioner on the Federal Commission of Audit in 2013-2014. She also serves on the boards, councils and committees for various organisations, including DrinkWise Australia, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Woomera Protected Area Advisory Committee, Lockheed Martin Australia, the University of Adelaide and Vision 2020.
Late last year, Mr Wyatt established a committee led by Indigenous Leaders Professor Marcia Langton and Tom Calma to advise on an appropriate model for a Voice to Parliament. Deferring policy design to Indigenous Australians with lived experience was a constructive and collaborate approach to decision-making. Mr Wyatt is among twelve leaders who are shortlisted for the 2020 McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership. Other nominees include Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.
In an era of political polarisation and growing partisanship, there is declining public trust in our political leaders. Without this trust, belief in our system of government erodes and necessary reforms are hard to achieve. With Australia facing immense challenges in its region and the wider world, it’s more important than ever that we have courageous and visionary leaders.
The McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership is the first of its kind in Australia. It has been established to: • Recognise politicians, at all levels of government, who have successfully tackled vital issues of public policy, overcome adversity and achieved real change for the public good • Inspire others to pursue courageous and visionary political leadership despite the challenges they may face • Generate national discussion about our expectations of political leadership in this country.
Current local, state and territory and federal politicians in Australia are eligible to be nominated. Each year, the winners will receive a trophy of recognition and the opportunity to deliver a speech at an awards ceremony at the University of Melbourne. The McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year will also receive a financial prize to be used for professional development and growth. The McKinnon Prize is represented by a the Acrux, the brightest star in the Southern Cross constellation. The Acrux has been used as a reference point in navigation for centuries. It is a symbol of stability, leadership and guardianship.