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Melissa Leong reacts to Pauline Hanson's controversial Acknowledgement of Country walk out: "Feel free not to come back"

''To the short-sighted hateful bigot, hope the door hit you on the way out.''

By Catie Powers
On Wednesday, One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson stormed out of parliament during the Acknowledgement of Country.
The Senate's Acknowledgement of Country acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples as the traditional custodians of the land where the Canberra meetings are held and pays respects to elders past, present and emerging.
As the acknowledgement was being given, Hanson left her seat and walked out of the room, saying: "No, I won't, and never will."
Following the controversial moment, Hanson's office shared a statement with The Age which said that Senator Hanson believes the acknowledge of Country "perpetuates racial division in Australia".
Pauline Hanson stormed out of parliament during the Acknowledgement of Country. (Image: Getty)
"Like many non-Indigenous Australians, Senator Hanson considers this country belongs to her as much as it does belong to any other Australian, Indigenous or otherwise.
"From this point forward, Senator Hanson will refuse to acknowledge country in the Senate. Senator Hanson does not accept that acknowledgement of country is any sort of Indigenous Australian tradition, given that at most it has only been in use for the past 25 years (and in parliament only 12 years).
"Senator Hanson will also oppose a motion in the Senate today for the Aboriginal flag to be displayed in the Senate. Senator Hanson considers that only one flag, the Australian national flag, truly represents all Australians."
The motion passed that afternoon.
Melissa Leong shared her thoughts on the divisive moment. (Image: Instagram)
Politicians and celebrities alike have been reacting to Hanson's actions.
MasterChef judge Melissa Leong took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the situation.
"A step forward and several back," the food critic wrote alongside headlines of Hanson's storm out, as well as the inaugural speech of the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman in Australian federal parliament, Fatima Payman.
"On a day we should only be cheering the first hijab-wearing woman giving her inaugural speech to Parliament, we are in many ways robbed of that full glory by another woman, this one an ugly-hearted bigot, who walked out of the Senate - during and because of- Acknowledgement of Country.
Melissa also acknowledged the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman in Australian federal parliament, Fatima Payman. (Image: Instagram)
"This typifies where we are as a nation. We have come so far, yet we have so far to go. I am hopeful and yet so very angry all at once. The only comfort I have is knowing I'm not alone.
"Sending power, congratulations and support to @senator_fatima_payman. To the short-sighted hateful bigot, hope the door hit you on the way out. Feel free not to come back."
Meanwhile, comedian Shaun Micallef added his thoughts to the mix on Twitter, writing: "If only we'd known how easy it was to rid parliament of Pauline Hanson back in 1996."
Fellow Senator Lidia Thorpe added: "Day two of the 47th Parliament and racism has reared its ugly head. Pauline Hanson.
"Pauline Hanson disrespectfully stormed out of the acknowledgement of Country in the Senate, refusing to acknowledge "those people". You want to make parliament safe? Get rid of racism."
The youngest First Nations woman to be elected to parliament, Labor Senator Jana Stewart, told The Project that she felt Hanson's actions came down to flaw in the Australian education system.
WATCH: Labor Senator Jana Stewart shares thoughts on Pauline Hanson's walkout. Article continues after video
"If we're honest there are absolutely parts of the Australian community that share views that are similar to Senator Hanson's," Stewart said.
"If I'm being kind, the education system that she was a part of back in the 1880s probably didn't have the education that we've got today; not to say that it's everything that it should be, we've got lots of work to do.
"But I see it as a failure of our education system that there isn't a real embedding and acknowledgement of first peoples place in our Country.
Anthony Albanese committed to the Uluru Statement From The Heart in full. (Image: Getty)
The Senator continued: "And I think that we are on an incredible path under Albanese's Labor government to really get a sense of what that might look like into the future with Voice, Treaty and Truth."
Voice, Treaty and Truth undermine the Uluru Statement From The Heart, which Prime Minister Anthony Albanese committed to in full once sworn in as the nation's leader.
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  • undefined: Catie Powers