Saturday, May 21, 2022

Baarkindji man to represent new Indigenous Party in federal election

Recent stories

Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia, Media Release, 5 May 2022

Derek Hardman
Derek Hardman signing the nomination form.
Photo: IAPA

A newly launched Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia (IAPA) is a national political party registered by the Australian Electoral Commission in November 2021.

Derek Hardman, a proud Baarkindji man of Broken Hill, will represent the party as he stands for the Division of Parkes in the 2022 federal election.

The Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia (IAPA) was formed by Uncle Owen Whyman, also a proud Baarkindji man from Wilcannia in north-western NSW. The only Indigenous party in Australia, IAPA will be standing candidates for the NSW and Queensland Senate, and three candidates for the House of Representatives, including Derek Hardman for Parkes.

Derek has been a prolific leader and advocate for Aboriginal people for most of his adult life. An example of Derek’s down to earth, generous, and practical nature was demonstrated recently as Derek, with some other Indigenous Party executives organised the ‘Deliver-roo’ initiative during Covid lockdowns at Wilcannia. Food, especially, fresh food was difficult to obtain in remote NSW towns so Derek helped organise cultural hunts on Country and on-site meat processing, to feed the mob in Wilcannia.

Derek says this is a prime example of where Traditional ways can help all Australians while enhancing local Indigenous populations with knowledge, pride, and purpose.

Always someone who respected his elders, Hardman believes in leading the way for the younger generation; demonstrating that they can contribute in meaningful ways to make a better Australia for all Australians.

Derek and friend at Broken Hill
Derek with Mick Schinella at Broken Hill.
Photo: IAPA

Derek is concerned about the rivers and all water ways, knowing that the wellbeing of all communities in Parkes electorate depend on the health of the Baaka (Darling) and all waterways

Derek’s list is the rivers, environment, and community as his top priorities in this election. He says cultural heritage, housing and jobs are a close second, but without healthy waterways our communities may perish.

Derek says the Indigenous Party is a great vehicle to get Indigenous voices heard. “Indigenous people are best placed to determine our own way forward, but we struggle to have our voices heard or understood. It is 30 years since the Royal Commission into deaths in custody, and none of the recommendations have been implemented. Indigenous people are not recognised in the Constitution, and I believe that even if we were its just not enough.

In my position as CEO of the Baarkindji Native Title, I have experienced so many times how bureaucracy works. We are told there will be consultation on matters that concern us, and yet it is a tick box exercise. There is never any real consultation with a process that gives our mob time to even get to a consultation meeting. True consultation would involve going out and speaking to those of us who can’t get into town, who these decisions will impact.

Derek is very outspoken about his desire to unite all Australians. “As a candidate for the electorate of Parkes, what really matters to me is bringing people together, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous. I am doing everything in my power to get around and talk to as many people as I can. Parkes covers a huge area, 53% of the state of NSW so I have some ground to cover.

I want to be an advocate for everyone who lives in this part of Australia. I believe that many of the issues that are facing Indigenous people are very similar to those of our non-Indigenous brothers.

Out here we want our rivers to be healthy, with a fair distribution of water. I have been hearing how affordable housing for everyone is a must. We need improved health services. These and other issues like supporting education and alternate schools are all Indigenous Party of Australia policies.

Derek says, “People are sick of not being heard and of tokenistic gestures and grand standing. The Indigenous Party stands for real change because we are real people who really care about making a difference in our communities.

Authorised by Owen Whyman
Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia
13 Hood Street, Wilcannia NSW 2836



Sign up to the Australian Rural & Regional News weekly newsletter

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.