Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Jack Ah Kit

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Preceded by  Wes Lanhupuy
Role  Politician
Party  Australian Labor Party
Domestic partner  Gail Canendo
Name  Jack Kit

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Full Name  John Leonard Ah Kit
Born  22 July 1950 (age 65) Alice Springs, Northern Territory (1950-07-22)

Succeeded by  Malarndirri McCarthy
Political party  Australian Labor Party

John Leonard "Jack" Ah Kit (born 22 July 1950) is a former Australian politician. He was the Labor member for Arnhem in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 1995 to 2005.


Early life

Ah Kit was born on 22 July 1950 in Alice Springs. He was the fifth child in a family of 13 and moved with his parents to Darwin in 1954. He attended Darwin and Parap primary schools and Darwin High School.


In 1983, he was elected to the Full Council of the Northern Land Council (NLC) representing Aboriginal people in the Katherine region. In 1984 he was appointed Director of the Northern Lands Council from 1984 to 1990. He resigned in 1990 to contest the seat of Goyder for the Labor Party.

He was Executive Director of the Jawoyn Association from 1991 to 1995 before his election to parliament in a by-election following the sudden death of Wes Lanhupuy. He served as a minister in the first term of the Martin Government, a historical milestone as he was the first indigenous minister in the Territory's history. When elected to parliament, John Ah Kit became the ninth Indigenous parliamentarian in Australian history.

While in parliament he held a number of portfolios:

  • Minister for Community Development
  • Minister for Housing
  • Minister for Local Government
  • Minister for Sport and Recreation
  • Minister for Regional Development
  • Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Indigenous Affairs
  • Ah Kit retired in 2005 citing ill health. His daughter Ngaree Ah Kit was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2016.


  • 2007 National NAIDOC Awards – Lifetime Achievement Award – John (Jak) Ah Kit
  • Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa awarded by the Council of Charles Darwin University
  • References

    Jack Ah Kit Wikipedia

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