NT Trail Blazing Goodbye to NT Native Cabinet John Ah Kit Farewell
John Ah Kit, also known as JAK, was celebrated at the funeral of Darwinism on Wednesday.
Ah Kit, who first entered the NT Parliament in 1995, became the first Aboriginal Cabinet Minister in the Territory when the Labor Party came to power in 2001.
ABC broadcaster Charlie King said, “Jak was a big guy with a great vision for a better country and a better territory.
“Jak set a model standard for politicians and iron fists in paper-peel gloves. In a way he was our native Gough Whitlam.”
ABC uses the name and image of Mr Ah Kit with the permission of the family.
Tribute to the “real guy”
Deputy Minister Michael Gunner NT, who once served as Mr Ah Kit’s chief of staff, talked about his authenticity.
“The politician was so smart that he could not consume him completely. That’s why everyone who met him knew they were meeting a real guy,” said Gunner.
Before entering politics, Mr. Ah Kit served as Director of Northern Land Council for 7 years.
Washington senator Patrick Dodson spoke to the crowd that Ukit had worked during difficult land periods.
Senator Dodson said, “The Northern Territory Land Rights Act, the Commonwealth Act, was under threat.
“For both of these reasons, Jak headed to Canberra to lobby a federal politician who could do a buttonhole.
“Jak and his cohort were so notorious for the politics of the old Capitol, known for their flying wedges.”
Advocate’s long career
Mr. Ah Kit was very fond of his long-standing advocacy career with natives across the territory.
Lisa Mumbin of the Jawoyn Association said:
Mumbin remembered seeing Bob Hawke’s support for the treaty announced at the 1988 Barunga Festival.
“He taught us how to negotiate, how to support our rights, and how to support a common cause through humanity,” she said.
Ah Kit was also remembered as a passionate avid fan and avid supporter of Darwin Buffaloes.
The Buffalo Team song was played as the entrance song for the event.
“He actually made me a fan of Buffalo. So today I stand with my brother as a buffalo supporter,” Mumbin said.
‘I lost my hero.’
Akit’s children remember his father as a loving family.
“I am always proud to be the son of John Ah Kit. Dad, thank you for visiting our children,” said Jonathan Ah Kit.
“Today I lost my hero, mentor and best friend. Dad, I love you. Until we meet again.”
Karama and Vice Chairman of the NT Legislature, Ngaree Ah Kit, said the foundation would be established in the name of the father.
“He knew everyone was born with his father, but not everyone was a dad, so we became a family soon after many people stayed with us little by little.”
“We’re going to build a legacy for our father and call it the John Ah Kit Foundation.”