Aboriginal lawyer Noel Pearson used his address to the National Press Club yesterday to admit he regrets the ousting of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Pearson used the platform to share that Mr Abbott had been his "closest friend" in political terms and that the two spoke regularly.  He says that Mr Abbott had found understanding the enormity of increasing the living standards for Aboriginal and Torres Islander people a challenge.

In his speech Mr Pearson unearthed Mr Abbott’s controversial 2014 statement that the arrival of the First Fleet on 26 January 1788 being the most defining moment in the nation’s history.

He says that Mr Abbott should have included the time more than 50,000 years ago when the first Australians crossed the Torres Strait land bridge to this continent and the end of the white Australia policy between 1973 and 1975.

Mr Pearson says these dates address the three different parts of the country – our Indigenous heritage, British colonisation and the removal of discrimination against migrants.

In his opinion, if these three elements could be incorporated into the 26 January, it would not cause so much offense and hurt. 

Image: Former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott