19 Jan 2017

Ken Wyatt to become Australia's first indigenous minister

3:31 pm on 19 January 2017

An Aboriginal MP from Western Australia will become Australia's first ever indigenous minister.

Ken Wyatt

Ken Wyatt Photo: Twitter

Ken Wyatt has been elevated in a reshuffle prompted by the resignation of Sussan Ley as Health Minister over an expenses scandal.

He will serve as Minister for Aged Care and Indigenous Health.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the MP for Hasluck was an ideal choice for the two portfolios given his experience in the public service.

In 2010 Mr Wyatt became the first indigenous Australian to be elected to the House of Representatives.

He said he was deeply honoured by his cabinet appointment.

He said he did not believe indigenous health challenges were intractable and called for a wider approach to health care services, the ABC reported.

"I think we've got to look at how the whole of the health sector throws its weight behind the health of Aboriginal people," he said.

Before entering politics, Mr Wyatt was the director of Aboriginal health within both the New South Wales and Western Australia health departments.

His supporters have welcomed his new ministry appointment but say he should also be given the federal indigenous affairs portfolio in future.