Nova Peris

Nova Peris became a Labor Senator for the Northern Territory in 2013. She is the first female Indigenous Australian to be elected to the Federal Parliament. Nova is a traditional land-owner who is descended from, and identifies with, the Kiga People of the East Kimberley, the Yawuru People of the West Kimberley (Broome) and the Muran People of West Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. She was born and raised in Darwin, and her mother, grandmother and grandfather are all members of the Stolen Generations from respective missions on the Tiwi islands, Moola Bulla of the East Kimberley and Beagle Bay of the West Kimberley. Nova has extensive community experience addressing Indigenous disadvantage, particularly in the Northern Territory. She helped deliver more than 100 health and education checks across communities Australia-wide and has worked to establish the innovative Nova Peris Girls Academy (NGPA) over the past three years. This focuses on keeping Aboriginal girls engaged with education. Known to many Australians for her sporting achievements, Nova was part of the Australian women's hockey team that won gold at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. She became the first Indigenous Australian, and the first Territorian, to win a gold medal. Nova then switched to athletics and became a double gold medallist at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. She also competed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, making the finals of the 400-metre relay. She is the only person ever to make back-to-back Olympic finals in two different sports. Nova has since taken on the role of Deputy Chair of the Joint Select Committee to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution.