THE first Aborigine to become the leader of an Australian provincial government was sworn in yesterday.
Adam Giles, 40, will lead the administration of the Northern Territory.
Mr Giles, a former civil servant, became leader on Wednesday in an internal coup within the ruling conservative Country Liberal Party while former chief minister, Terry Mills, was in Japan on a business trip.
He described himself as an example for parents to use to inspire their children. “Mums and dads can say: ‘Look at Giles. If he can do it, you can do it’,” he said.
Labour prime minister Julia Gillard later told MPs in Canberra: “This is a moment in history for indigenous Australians.”
There are only 600,000 aborigines in Australia, which has a population of 23 million, but they account for a third of the Northern Territory’s residents.