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Glasses belonging to Neville Bonner

Hilton Eyewear1971/1983

Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

Neville Thomas Bonner AO was an Australian politician, and the first Indigenous Australian to become a member of the Parliament of Australia. This pair of glasses is significant as part of the Neville Bonner collection which is comprised of a selection of objects that belonged to Australia’s first Indigenous federal politician, Neville Bonner. Bonner entered federal politics in 1971, sworn in as a Queensland Senator on 17 August. In his maiden speech he declared that he would play ‘the role which my State of Queensland, my race, my background, my political beliefs, my knowledge of men and circumstances dictate.’ In a 1992 interview Bonner reflected on how proud he was the night he was elected as a Senate representative. He said that the day he was sworn in was a very emotional day, with his then fiancé Heather and her daughter, and two other Aboriginal women in the gallery watching. He also felt a little scared, feeling the responsibility of representing his whole race, which was quite a load on his shoulders.

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Details

  • Title: Glasses belonging to Neville Bonner
  • Creator: Hilton Eyewear
  • Date: 1971/1983
  • View on MoAD website: See Collection record
  • Medium: Leather; textile; titanium; glass
  • Dimensions: 155 (w) x 90 (h) x 25 (d) mm

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