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Candidate

Speech B.Mooney. National ATSI Officer. From a proud Wiradjuri man, to a grateful and inspired student, I thank the delegates at NatCon for the opportunity to serve as the 2013 National ATSI Officer. Unfortunately Im otherwise engaged, but many of my thoughts are with you - and for those moments I havent been at Conference, twitter has faithfully kept me up-to-date and entertained. In terms of the year ahead: Im for pragmatic policies that increase Indigenous participation in higher education. Im for ideas that engage Indigenous students in all our diversity. I want greater and more substantial representation on campuses, and I want our voices and our experiences to echo in all areas of policy and all positions of leadership throughout our universities. I have an interest in encouraging what I believe is the greatest network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the country. Indigenous office bearers and their committees from all places around the country are uniquely placed to foster greater participation and achievement; as well as cross-institutional and community connections that extend well beyond years of study. I will be supporting and encouraging these local leaders. The unfortunate prospect of universities scaling back or closing ATSI support systems is shameful, [particularly with regard to the University of Sydney and the abolition of the Koori Centre]--, and I will work hard to make sure Indigenous students have more opportunities, not less, to compete as equals within the wider Australian meritocracy. I nominated for this position because I owe a lot to those who came before me. I owe a lot to my family and their struggles, and I owe a lot to my brothers and sisters who will one day benefit from mine. And so it is with a great deal of excitement, and gratitude, that I look forward to serving as the ATSI Officer for 2013. Thank you.