Putting indigenous issue on the agenda

Broadwaters Ross Knox will be the new face sitting with councillors at Richmond Valley Council meetings for the next six months, having been chosen for its Aboriginal Mentor Program.

Hell also be seeing a lot of Richmond Valley Council mayor Charlie Cox, attending official mayoral functions and workshops with him. Ross will also be entitled to address Council meetings about Aboriginal affairs.

Community projects officer Joanne Petrovic said he would basically be a councillor for six months but without voting rights. She said the mentoring program was set up to try and increase indigenous representation in local government and Casinos John Bell was the last person to be mentored two years ago. He ran in the last elections but was not successful.

Joanne said whether people ended up getting elected or not didnt matter. The exchange of ideas and information (both ways) was invaluable.

Ross, 53, said his aim was to run for Council in 2008.

He has been involved with Aboriginal affairs for 20 years.

Years ago I wanted to be a councillor, he said. I made some enquiries but then I put it on hold. So when I first saw the ad that interest came back to me. I think there is a need for Aboriginal people to get on these bodies, represent the community and talk on their behalf about their wants and needs.


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