House debates

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Statements by Members

Wyatt, Mr Cedric

1:36 pm

Photo of Alannah MactiernanAlannah Mactiernan (Perth, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Last Friday Western Australia lost one of its great Aboriginal leaders, Cedric Wyatt. I met Cedric over 30 years ago when he was a senior official with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and I was working in Aboriginal employment and training. He was a grand personality, intelligent, very funny and very committed to advancing the Aboriginal community but one who would never sugar coat the problems.

Cedric was taken from his mother as a baby and brought up in institutions. Although the loss of his family and heritage caused him extraordinary pain, he was very positive about his life generally. He was well educated, served in the Air Force and sought adventure early in his career, in PNG as a teacher, where he met his wonderful wife, Janine.

Cedric was politically eclectic, having stood for both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party. But he was very clear about his commitment to the Aboriginal community, having spent decades working in this area. He did not sit at a desk in Perth; he took on some of the most challenging gigs, working in remote communities in places like Laverton and Jigalong. To Cedric's family, particularly my very good friend, Ben, WA shadow Treasurer, be so very proud of this great man and our full condolences to you.