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Senator Aden Ridgeway
, 2003

by Juno Gemes

inkjet print (sheet: 50.6 cm x 61.0 cm, image: 40.6 cm x 50.8 cm)

Aden Ridgeway (b. 1962), was the only Aboriginal member of Federal Parliament during his time in office. He became the Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats and served as a a senator for New South Wales from 1999, when he made his stirring first speech calling for national reconciliation to 2005. A man of the Gumbayynggir people, brought up by his mother, aunts and grandmother, he was a regional councillor for the ATSIC Sydney region and Executive Director of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council before he was elected to the Senate. Some Aboriginal leaders have criticised Ridgeway's willingness to negotiate on Aboriginal issues. However, many others have welcomed the politically moderate tactics he has adopted to keep the wheels of the reconciliation debate in motion.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2005.73