John Leonard Ah Kit (22 July 1950 – 12 July 2020) was an Australian politician. He was the Labor member for Arnhem in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 1995 to 2005.
1 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 Land 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.
Ah Kit died at Royal Darwin Hospital on the evening of 12 July 2020. He was 69 years old.
2007 National NAIDOC Awards – Lifetime Achievement Award – John (Jak) Ah Kit
Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa awarded by the Council of Charles Darwin University
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