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Historic 4th term for NSW Commissioner [Steve Gordon]

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Media Release

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC)


24 November 1999


Historic 4th term for NSW Commissioner


In an unprecedented development, Commissioner Steve Gordon has been re-elected unopposed to represent western NSW and the ACT on the national ATSIC Board for a fourth consecutive term.  


Commissioner Gordon is the only remaining member of the original Board elected in 1990. 


The election of the Board is the next step following the 9 October elections when 184 candidates across NSW/ACT contested 71 positions on six regional councils. The regions are grouped into three zones - NSW (West), NSW (East) and NSW (Metropolitan). 


As Commissioner for NSW (West), Steve Gordon represents his own Murdi Paaki Regional Council (based in Bourke) as well as the interests of the Binaal Billa (Wagga Wagga) and Queanbeyan Regional Councils. His zone responsibilities extend from Bourke and Broken Hill across the Central and South West to the South Coast and include the ACT. There are about 32 000 Indigenous people throughout the zone. 


After the declaration of the ballot by Australian Electoral Commission officials at the two day zone meeting at Dubbo RSL, Commissioner Gordon said he expected the next three years to be tough going. 


“I want to bring the issues of social justice and Indigenous rights back to the top of the agenda,” he said. 


“I want to make sure that the Indigenous people of NSW gain a fair share of the resources available from ATSIC and other government agencies. And I want to put governments on notice that they stand to be embarrassed internationally next year if they don’t move quickly.” 


Regional councillors also elected their respective chairpersons - Ms Yodie Batzke (Queanbeyan), Mr Hewitt Whyman (Binaal Billa, re-elected) and Mr Sam Jeffries (Murdi Paaki, re-elected).  


On Monday this week, Dr Charles Perkins AO was elected as Commissioner NSW (Metropolitan). Ms Maxine Conaty was elected to chair the Sydney Regional Council.  


The ballots for Commissioner NSW (East) and chairs of the Many Rivers and Kamilaroi Regional Councils will be held on 30 November at Coffs Harbour. 


The three Commissioners from NSW/ACT then join 14 others at the Board meeting on 13 December to elect, for the first time, the national chair. 


For further details, see the elections page at 



Contact: Martin Freckmann, ATSIC Public Affairs 018 631 045



md 1999-12-03  08:58