Northern Territory senator Nova Peris will not re-contest her Senate spot in the upcoming election.
In a statement, Senator Peris said she made the decision following careful deliberation with her family.
“It is my intention that I will serve out my term and fully support and endorse my replacement for the number one position on the Labor Senate ticket, whoever that might be,” she said.
Fairfax Media has reported Senator Peris is a frontrunner to take up the AFL’s top Indigenous job.
It is a role left vacant after the league’s former head of diversity, Jason Mifsud, took up a position with the Victorian Government in February.
Senator Peris, the first Aboriginal woman in federal politics, said she never envisaged herself becoming a career politician and would continue to fight racism and prejudice.
“Australia is a great multicultural nation that I have been proud to represent — in sport and politics — over the past 16 years,” she said.
“I reject — like most Australians — the racism that Aboriginal people still have to contend with in this country.”
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Senator Peris was a trailblazer both in sport and in the Senate.
“She’s a distinguished Territorian, she is a distinguished Indigenous Australian,” Mr Shorten said.
“I am very grateful for the time that she has served the Labor Party and the people of the NT. She departs with my absolute best wishes.”