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2022 WA Women’s Hall of Fame photographic exhibition in Geraldton Library features local inductee

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Carol Martin has been inducted into the  2022 WA Women's Hall of Fame.
Camera IconCarol Martin has been inducted into the 2022 WA Women's Hall of Fame. Credit: Matt Jelonek

Geraldton-based former State MP Carol Martin — the first Aboriginal woman to be elected to any Australian Parliament — last month became the first local to be inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame.

Her image is among 20 inspiring portraits of the 2022 inductees featured in an photographic exhibition at Geraldton Regional Library.

The hall of fame is held every year, with inductees selected from eight categories. Mrs Martin was honoured in the health category.

WA Women’s Hall of Fame inductee Carol Martin.
Camera IconWA Women’s Hall of Fame inductee Carol Martin. Credit: Karen Wheatland

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Serving 12 years as Kimberley MLA and noted for her commitment to improving the lives of Indigenous people and their general health, Mrs Martin — who is now the Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation’s expert director — said getting to where she was today was a trying time.

“There was never a confidence that an Aboriginal woman would win the seat of Kimberley,” she said.

“I didn’t have a budget but I had the support of (former Victorian premier) Joan Kirner and (political pro-woman network) EMILY’S List.”

Mrs Martin is recognised as a “trailblazer” for her outstanding support towards children who dealt with consequences of the Stolen Generations.

Throughout her career, Mrs Martin has helped return Aboriginal children who were “missing from the system” back to their families after being a child who was removed from her family herself.

Mrs Martin said all she wished for was for people’s mindset to change.

“It has always been considered that we’re not citizens. We only became citizens in 1967 after the referendum,” she said.

While ruling out a return to politics, Mrs Martin did say she hoped the government would start putting money into keeping families together, not ripping them apart.

City of Greater Geraldton mayor Shane Van Styn said he was looking forward to the exhibition and encouraged people to visit to learn about Mrs Martin and the other inductees.

“I am extremely proud to have our first resident admitted to the Hall of Fame with the addition of Carol Martin. Carol’s historic journey from Ward of the State to Member of Parliament and her lifetime of service to the community serves as an inspiration to us all,” he said.

The exhibition at the library is open until Wednesday, April 13.

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