First Nations readers are advised this article contains names and images of deceased people.
Neville Bonner’s career in federal politics began at Old Parliament House. A groundbreaking politician, he contributed to numerous Senate and Parliamentary Committees, advocated for Indigenous rights, and paved the way for future Indigenous Australians to enter politics. Today, MoAD is lucky enough to have numerous photographs and objects in our collection - many donated by Bonner’s family - that reveal something of Neville Bonner, his achievements and experiences. Learn more about these objects and the stories they tell:
The story of Neville Bonner
Neville Bonner’s self-proclaimed ‘burning desire to help my own people’ saw him campaigning for the rights of Indigenous Australians in the 1967 Referendum, forever changing the course of Australia’s political history.
After being sworn in as a Federal Senator on 17 August 1971, Bonner gave his first speech on 8 September 1971: