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2020 EMILY Winner Linda Burney

Linda BurneyLinda Burney is awarded the EMILY Award for 2020 for her contribution to the recognition and participation of First Nations people, particularly women, in leadership roles across Australia and for her long and valued contribution to EMILY’s List Australia.

Linda is a Wiradjuri woman of many firsts, the first Indigenous person to serve in the NSW Parliament and the first Indigenous Women to be elected to the Federal Government House of Representatives. She is currently the Federal Member for Barton and Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services and for Preventing Family Violence, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians.

In a long list of advocacy for women, Linda’s more recent activity highlights are to provide redress to the survivors on institutional child sexual abuse, support for pensioners, carers, the unemployed and disability services, redress for those affected by Robodebt, opposing the cashless debit card, striving for Closing the Gap, and in achieving the objectives of the Uluru Statement in a commitment to a constitutionally enshrined voice to the parliament, a Makarrata Commission that will oversee agreement and treaty-making, and a national process of truthtelling. 

Linda Burney and Maree Overall with and Aborginal FlagLinda has been an active member of ELA since she joined in 2002. At this time ELA responded to the call of Carol Martin MP to do more to support Indigenous women in leadership roles. Linda became the first convenor of our national Partnership in Equity program. She has continued to support many women candidates in our mentoring program, is always a willing contributor to our events and fundraisers, and a strong voice in promoting our core principles across her many portfolio roles. 

When Linda entered parliament, she said there were three things that motivated her: Aboriginality, being a woman and being a change maker in the social justice space. She promised that she would work hard and do her best for her constituents, and all Australians. Linda continues to go above and beyond these commitments.