From the Oral History collection: Heather Bonner
Heather Bonner (nee Ryan) was the wife of the late Neville Bonner, a Senator in the Federal Parliament between 1971 and 1983. They were married in 1972. Neville Bonner was the first Indigenous Australian elected to the parliament. Their involvement in OPAL (the One People of Australia League) brought them together. Neville Bonner died in 1999, and Heather in 2004. The Queensland Times described her as “one of Ipswich’s great matriarchs and political activists”.
In this edited excerpt from an oral history interview, she talks about reactions to their marriage and the loving nature of their relationship.
Heather Bonner was recorded for the Oral History Program by Michael Richards at Ipswich, Queensland, in July 2001. The full interview is not currently available online but is available upon request at the Museum of Australian Democracy. Please contact the museum prior to your visit and quote the reference number OHI 22.