• Short Summary

    In Australia a 53 year old carpenter has become the first Aborigine to gain a seat in Federal Parliament.

  • Description

    SV Bonner talking to niece and fiance

    CU Bonner (2 shots)

    CU Bonner, (SOUND ON FILM)

    TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 3): INTERVIEWER: Some of the more militant people in the aboriginal movement in Australia have called you an Uncle Tom, do you feel that this is a true description of you?

    BONNER: No, I don't think so. In the first place I would hope that Australians would be a little original in their sayings and not this. No I don't feel that I'm an uncle Tom. I feel that I am first and foremost an Aborigine, an Aborigine who has worked hard and diligently and tried to do everything I possibly can to promote those of my race and to bring about a better understanding and better relationship between all the people of our country. We have a wonderful country and I believe that we can all live together in harmony and happiness.

    INTERVIEWER: What do you think will be the most important approach in regard to your people that you'll be adopting in the Parliament?

    BONNER: Well, look, the problems of those of my race are so many and so varied that's its nigh impossible to just to sort of put your finger on any specific thing but I think the main thing that I would like to see is that Aborigines have the opportunity of becoming responsible and respected citizens in the community and this involves assistance and help in many, many respects, and I hope that I can in some way do something about this myself.

    Initials OS/1643 OS/1648

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Australia a 53 year old carpenter has become the first Aborigine to gain a seat in Federal Parliament. He's Mr. Neville Bonner from Ipswich, near Brisbane. He has been nominated for the seat in the Senate - the Upper House - vacated by Senator Dame Annabelle Rankin of the Liberal Party.

    Under Australian law senate seats are awarded by the State political parties to party candidates when a seat falls vacant between elections. Mr. Bonner was awarded the seat unanimously against several other candidates.

    Mr. Bonner, a widower with five sons and two foster daughters, is engaged to his secretary, Mrs. Heather Ryan. They plan to marry next year.

    VISNEWS filmed Mr. Bonner at his Ipswich home.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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