Fraser Coast Councillor, James Hansen, should fully and unreservedly apologise to Environment Minister, Leeanne Enoch, for ridiculing her claims to be Aboriginal, the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) said today.
QYAC is the registered native title body corporate, under the Native Title Act 1993, for the Quandamooka People, who are located around Moreton Bay near Brisbane. It was responding to last Saturday night’s now-deleted Facebook post by Councillor Hansen, in which he mocked Ms Enoch with the following race-based language: “…apparently she’s supposed to be black David, looks as white as you and I.”
He reportedly made the comments on fellow Fraser Coast councillor, David Lewis’, personal Facebook post about a recent meeting he had with Ms Enoch regarding the ex-HMAS Tobruk.
QYAC CEO, Cameron Costello, said such ignorance from an elected official in this day and age is appalling.
“To determine Leeanne’s Aboriginality by the perceived colour of her skin is offensive to her bloodline connection to Quandamooka Country, which runs back thousands of years. Exactly this type of slight was found to be unlawful racial discrimination in the Andrew Bolt case, and highly offensive to reasonable Aboriginal people.
“Leeanne Enoch is a direct descendant of one of the 12 Apical Ancestor groups recognised by the Federal Court of Australia who comprise the Quandamooka People. Her family’s Aboriginal connection is indisputable, after seven extensive genealogy reports over 16 years of negotiations for the determination of our native title area.
“QYAC stands with Leeanne as she seeks justice over this slur by Councillor Hansen. We call on him to immediately and unreservedly apologise to Ms Enoch and all First Nations people for his inappropriate and divisive comments. We also call on the Fraser Coast Council to provide extra cultural competency training for its personnel if Councillor Hansen’s comments are indicative of the understanding of Aboriginal issues amongst its officials.
“QYAC notes that a number of otherwise law abiding people and organisations appear less sensitive to breaching laws relating to culture, native title and racial discrimination then they are to breaking speeding or stealing laws. What’s the difference, is it race?
“The Quandamooka People beamed with pride in 2015 when Leeanne Enoch became the first female Aboriginal MP in the Queensland Parliament. Minister Enoch is an inspirational Quandamooka woman, and QYAC supports her 100 per cent in her actions to ensure people are not judged by the colour of their skin,” Mr Costello said.