Top cop forced to step in as Indigenous elders clash at Premier’s Christmas reception
Top cop forced to step in as Indigenous elders clash at Premier’s Christmas reception

Top cop steps in as elders clash at Premier’s bash

An Indigenous elder challenged another senior Aboriginal identity to meet her "outside" to settle a public argument after being angrily heckled while delivering the welcome to country address at the Palaszczuk Cabinet's annual Christmas reception.

In extraordinary scenes in front of a stunned Premier and hundreds of Queensland business and community identities last night, Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll - who was attending the event as a guest - was forced to intervene in an attempt to calm the situation.

The bizarre confrontation began when Deputy Premier Steven Miles invited Jagera elder Uncle Desmond Sandy and daughter Aunty Deborah Sandy to give the traditional welcome at the event before the Premier spoke at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Plaza Ballroom.

However, a female guest interjected, shouting that the land did not belong to the pair and that her own people had been massacred.

The yelling and interjections continued as Ms Palaszczuk, Mr Miles and gobsmacked guests watched on at the strictly invitation-only event.

Ms Sandy, who spoke after her father, interrupted her speech to order the woman to be quiet and show some respect, or meet her outside. She said she was a "proud warrior woman".

"That's how we roll,'' she said.

Originally published as Top cop steps in as elders clash at Premier's bash


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