Meet the First Nations activist taking on one of NT Labor’s most popular members this election

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun8,2024
At 25-years-old Mililma May has spent years on the streets she grew up in advocating on the issues important to her community.
Now, she’s shifting to politics hoping to make a change from the inside.

“When we’ve been on the front line we have felt let down by our local representatives,” Ms May told NITV News.

“I thought it was really important as a person who prides themselves on trying to have integrity and be transparent and have honesty that we need to have that in our parliament.”

Save Lee Point rally

Mililma May at Save Lee Point rally. Source: supplied.

The Danggalaba Kulumbirigin Tiwi woman is running as an independent for the seat of Nightcliff in Darwin’s north.

Her biggest competition is the incumbent Labor member and former Chief Minister Natasha Fyles who resigned from the top job last December after it was .

Ms May says it’s left voters with an appetite for change as they head to an election in August.

“People of Nightcliff are absolutely sick of party politics, they want real Territorians who have lived here who have the experience of spending time on this beautiful Country,” she said.
“People here have been really vocal about how much they care about progressive politics and that they want to see a change in their politics and how their community is represented.”

Ms May has been a persistent presence on the picket line at Darwin rallies for stopping defence housing developments at Lee Point, halting the Middle Arm hub project, and closing down the notorious Don Dale youth detention facility.

There is only one First Nations Independent in the chamber currently, Yingiya Mark Guyula, who has held the seat of Mulka (formerly Nhulunbuy) in north-east Arnhem Land for eight years after winning the seat by an eight vote margin against his Territory Labor predecessor in 2016.
For years he has fought to be heard on youth crime incarceration, economic development, and cultural recognition of traditional power.

Hoping to join his ranks, Ms May says First Nations independents are key to driving change for communities.

“We know the stories of this Country and we can bring non-Indigenous people along with us and teach them the stories for our Country… from that everything else will follow.”
“As a community Independent, the only path I take is the path the community wants me to take.”

“An elected member who is from a political party, whenever they make a decision they have to think about what the party wants and what the community wants and try and weigh up which path they’re going to take.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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