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Indigenous party targets education, land councils in federal election tilt

Tom Zaunmayr -

A party billing itself as the first all-Indigenous outfit will lobby for lands councils to be stripped of their power in its campaign to win seats at the 2022 federal election.

Party leader uncle Owen Whyman has set up the Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia with eyes on marginal NSW and Queensland seats.

Central to the party's modus operandi is a belief Aboriginal lands councils are given too much power over the wishes of traditional owners and too often sell off land with encouragement from state governments.

Senate hopeful Lawrence Brookes said traditional owners were getting a "rough run" across the country.

"The traditional custodians, with all their lore and knowledge of country, are being completely ignored, while some die in jail from only outstanding park fines," he said.

Party convenor and senate hopeful uncle Whyman said Aboriginal people were now living through the "second stolen generation" which left people hesitant to do simple tasks such as filling in forms requiring addresses.

"They fear this makes it easier for their kids to be taken away and placed in institutions, or for the police to find them and put a loved one in jail," he said.

"Another cry we hear from all Indigenous people and a good many non Indigenous people is Treaty.

"The Voice to Parliament has gone no where - all the more reason we need a treaty."

Uncle Whyman said protection of sacred sites, creation of youth head spaces, and an intervention to make schools more Indigenous-friendly to increase participation would be core themes of the campaign.

"We would like Indigenous school education taken off the States and given to a federal body which works closely with an Indigenous board in each state," he said.

"Let Indigenous people control Indigenous school education everywhere in Australia."

The party has already found itself in some controversy after having to dump Ngunnawal elder Glenda Merritt over her anti-vax mandate campaigning.

Ms Merritt had been preselected to take on opposition leader Anthony Albanese in the Sydney seat of Grayndler.

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