Aboriginal activist Michael Eckford, better known as Michael Anderson, launched his campaign for the NSW Senate on August 3. Eckford was forced to stand under his birth certificate name because of Australian Electoral Commission regulations.
Eckford is running with former ALP member Criselee Stevens, who said she quit Labor because “they are so out of touch with the real grassroots concerns and priorities”.
Eckford and Stevens said on August 3: “Our focus is on the core human values of good health; social and economic wellbeing; the right to quality free education; respect for cultural diversity by nurturing social justice; to honour and provide security for our aging population and to directly negotiate with the diverse Aboriginal nations to locate solutions for positive ways forward.”
Eckford said: “As a sheep and cattle grazing farmer on my traditional lands in north west NSW, I believe that I have located a balance between sustainable economic development and caring for country.
“I see firsthand the destructive impacts of ill-conceived free trade agreements which are destroying the heart and soul of our primary production.”
Eckford was a leader of the Australian Black Panther Party in 1969 and helped set up the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972.