Charles Perkins' granddaughter takes up the cause

Aboriginal Art Directory | 26.10.10

Author: Nicola Berkovic
News source: The Australian

Madeleine Madden spent the first years of her life around her grandad, Aboriginal activist Charlie Perkins, while he berated politicians.

Her memories of him are hazy, but she has grown up determined to continue his fight to advance the interests of her people. Last night, the 13-year-old became the first person to deliver an address to the nation on every free-to-air television network, reaching an estimated six million Australians.

The message was delivered on behalf of GenerationOne, a public awareness campaign aimed at closing the gap on indigenous disadvantage. The campaign is linked to the Australian Employment Covenant, set up by mining magnate Andrew Forrest, whose goal is to place 50,000 indigenous people in jobs by June next year.

In her two-minute address, Madeleine urged Australians to help create job opportunities and a better future for indigenous people in this generation.


Madeleine's mother, Hetti Perkins, an indigenous art curator at the Art Gallery of NSW, said like Charles Perkins's Freedom Ride around Australia in 1965, GenerationOne -- supported by News Limited, publisher of The Australian -- was a real "people's movement".


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