In a move which many will believe was well overdue it was today confirmed that Adam Giles was sworn in as the head of the Northern Territory government in Australia. This is one of two Australian mainland territories which are to all intents and purposes the equal of the six states in the country. However, it is more the fact that today sees the first aboriginal leader brought into such a position that is catching the headlines around the world.
It will seem bizarre to many people that a country which is regarded as one of the most multicultural in the world has only just this week confirmed its first aboriginal leader of a major territory. When you bear in mind that the aborigines we here well before any European settlers it does beg the question why it has taken so long.
It will be interesting to see whether this appointment is the first of many such moves by the various territory and states of Australia. This is a country which has built its wealth and its culture upon immigrants, this is a country which has very strong ties to Europe and the UK in particular but this is a country which was populated by the aborigines well before the settlers arrived.
Politics in Australia
The old stereotypical image of the Australian is something of a distant memory today as this is a country which has developed, grown and certainly become more welcoming of foreigners over the years. This is a country which has a more settled political system than at any time in its history and indeed the current coalition government seems to be working well. Even though Julia Gillard has called an election for September 2013 we are unlikely to see any major changes in economic policy going forward no matter who is voted into power.
The government has also done very well to improve and grow relations with overseas partners including China and India. These have assisted in increasing the country's political profile overseas as well as improving the economy in the short, medium and potentially longer term. The Australia we see before us today is so different in many ways from that of 20 years ago or in some ways even 10 years ago.
A country built on different cultures
There are so many different cultural influences in Australia that it is sometimes difficult these days to bring out a common thread. There is a massive UK expat community, a relatively large Indian community and indeed those from the US have also shown great interest in the country. When you also take into account the very strong backbone of aboriginal culture which is still prevalent across much of Australia we certainly have a great mix of different ideas, different ways of life and ultimately different cultures.
It has taken many years of campaigning to bring aboriginal leaders into the public domain, it has taken even longer to confirm their rights and only just this week we see the first aboriginal leader of one of the major territories. Times are certainly change in Australia, politics is developing in a way few would have predicted 20 years ago and each of the different cultures and different communities across Australia is having more of a say in how the country is run. This must be good news for the expat community in Australia, the domestic Australian community as well as for the aboriginal community.