Portrait of Indigenous Australian Prime Minister to raise funds for Aboriginal education

indigenous pmA campaign has been launched featuring a future-gazing portrait of an indigenous Australian Prime Minister.

The Australian Indigenous Education Fund (AIEF) launched the campaign – aiming to raise raise $100 million to educate 7,000 Aboriginal students _  in two near full page ads in The Australian today, and the cause also captured a front page picture story on the cause.

Archibald Prize finalist Mathew Lyn painted the portrait featured in the first ad with the line ‘This will never happen’.

On the following page another ad of the same size states, ‘We say it can’, and includes details of the AIEF’s track record.

It followed a teaser campaign in The Weekend Australian which featured the portrait and encouraged people to discuss the issue on Twitter with the hashtag #IndigenousPM.

The campaign developed by Host Sydney and The Glue Society, and launched by PR agency One Green Bean, emerged as Newspoll research revealed two thirds of Australians believe they will not see an Indigenous Prime Minister in their lifetime.

Laura Aldington, Managing Director at Host Sydney said in a press release: “It’s been a great pleasure for both Host and One Green Bean to provide our support to this campaign, raising awareness of the excellent work AIEF are doing to make the possibility of our first Indigenous Prime Minister that much closer to becoming a reality.”

Pete Baker at The Glue Society added: “Having met some of the students who are already benefitting from The AIEF’s program, it inspired us to realise what the true end potential could be. It actually could be nation changing.”


AIEF Indigenous Prime Minister campaign


  1. BC
    7 May 13
    12:28 pm

  2. I actually find it kind of condescending that the ad is saying that an indigenous person, in 2013, couldn’t be PM. And that’s crap. There’s already a number of aboriginal people in state and federal parliaments and I think most Australians would be very encouraging of an aboriginal PM (who was elected on their merits). A lot was made of our first female PM, but really, did anyone really care (or cares)? I think Australia is a lot bigger, better and smarter than this makes us out to be in all truth.

  3. macsmutterings
    7 May 13
    1:16 pm

  4. BC I comend you for your optimism, there are lots of active Aboriginals in state and federal politics at different levels but I still think we are a long way off seeing an Aboriginal as PM and hope this ad helps raise funds needed to do more in this area

  5. James
    7 May 13
    1:32 pm

  6. BC, I agree most educated open minded Australians from the big cities would be supportive of an indigenous PM, however step outside of the cosmopolitan city into outer suburbs and rural communities and you’ll find a great deal of racism still exists and sexism is rife as well. I applaud campaigns dedicated to increasing understanding and stimulating discussion about equal opportunity inclusion. Well done AIEF for doing so.

  7. BC
    7 May 13
    3:36 pm

  8. Sorry, I disagree. Sure, a small minority might take offence but by and large I think the vast majority of Australians would be accepting of an indigenous PM; proud, in fact. I always remember a great story when Penny Wong got elected to the senate for Labor in 2007. Here was an Asian, lesbian woman, in this high office. Made the front pages of every newspaper back in her birthplace of Malaysia yet nobody gave a shit here in Australia. Again, I reiterate, I personally believe Australia is bigger, better and smarter than this makes us out to be! (That said, there’s a lot of people gonna hate the PM regardless! Take one Anthony John Abbott as an example of that!)

  9. and your point is?
    7 May 13
    8:40 pm

  10. Most Australians are long past this stereo-typing. Jewish and female GGs, Aboriginal Governors, Chinese Mayors, Gay Premiers, red-neck parliamentarians, selective high schools full of Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese kids – no one cares – as long as they work hard and do their job.

  11. Proud
    7 May 13
    9:55 pm

  12. We don’t know if we’ve already had an indigenous PM or not… Most people with indigenous ancestry have hidden the fact, and there are a lot in high places who do have it. It goes back to BC’s comment about being patronised, many don’t want to rely on handouts and a good many look whiter than most white people.

    James is off the mark when it comes to communities in rural Australia – maybe in North Queensland or Alice Springs, but they’re far more integrated than Sydney or Melbourne. That is, assuming you’ve lived outside a major metropolitan city, James, and not just passed through one. They’ve had to rely on each other and work together for hundreds of years to survive, as a result there’s a respect you’ll never find in any major city in Australia.

  13. max
    9 May 13
    9:24 am

  14. Tom Calma? A great example of an Indigenous leader – would be a great PM

  15. Richard Moss
    9 May 13
    12:39 pm

  16. I normally stay clear of politics, unless I feel particularly moved to comment, which I do in this case.

    The notion that an Aboriginal person will never be prime minister is very outmoded to say the least, it may not have been conceivable 50 years ago, but it is a very real possibility today.

    There is also some confusion, to my way of thinking, in the notion that the post of Prime Minister is somehow related to higher education.

  17. Mike
    11 May 13
    9:27 am

  18. There’s something deeply wrong about suggesting that Australians would choose a Prime Minister on the basis of race, and I reckon most Aboriginal people would agree. Merit and vision are far better criteria.
    While (predominantly white) activists keep fencing off Aboriginal people and trying to separate them from being Australians first, it does nobody any favours.