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RABELAIS The Indigenous Edition
2 / Rabelais Indigenous The La Trobe Juris Doctor includes: – an internationally relevant and contemporary perspective on the law – access to the Secretariat of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) – subjects required by the Victorian Legal Admissions Board to qualify for admission to the legal profession in Victoria – opportunities for placements that provide real‑world experience and build networks – an education at the third oldest law school in Victoria – contemporary learning facilities at our Melbourne City Campus – small classes in a friendly and supportive environment – a wide range of commercial, cyber law, international and public law electives drawn from our successful Master of Laws program – flexible teaching hours with the option of afternoon or evening classes – generous scholarships (subject to qualification) – the option to accelerate this three‑year program.
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Welcome to Country Aboriginal people from all over Australia come from the oldest culture in the world. A special relationship and cultural lore existed with the land, and the land provided for every part of their life from sustenance to religion. They had an intimate knowledge of the environment - understanding the relationship between human, animals, and plants. Each community has a traditional cultural right for a Welcome to Country Ceremony. We, the Wurundjeri, are known as the Manna Gum People. Its branches weave in the wind to the sounds of the landscape, and its leaves extend to you an invitation to share in the custom of welcome. From its branch take a leaf, pass it onto the next person to take a leaf and hear the words of welcome from the traditional custodians of this land. Accepting this leaf means we become linked symbolically and you are welcome to everything from the tops of the trees to the roots of the earth. We thank you for joining with us to honour the spirits of our ancestors who respected, cared, and nurtured this land for thousands of years. There is no greater resource on earth than the land we walk on everyday. Today we are the beneficiaries of our ancestorsâ€™ legacy and responsibilities. We honour and value what we have inherited. Together we walk in the footprints of the Wurundjeri culture. We will continue to respect, care, and nurture this land for the benefit of generations to come. Woiwurrung ngulu-woi-wa-rung language is our spoken word. Wominjeka Wurundjeri balluk yearmenn koondee bik wah-min-gee-car wa-run-geree bal-uck yeah-mean koon-dee bick. Welcome to the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people. Aunty Joy Murphy, Wurundjeri Elder
2 / Rabelais Indigenous In this edition of Rabelais, we asked for contributions from a diverse range of sectors within the Indigenous community. On behalf of Rabelais, the wider community of the La Trobe University Student Union and La Trobe University, we’d like to thank all those who’ve shared their experiences and art forms to the first ever Indigenous focused Rabelais. Hopefully, together we have pioneered a new direction for Rabelais to build on for years to come, and created something for many to explore. Congratulations and thank you again for helping along this journey. Editors-in-Chief Lois Villar Abood Shehada Chief of Staff Kristen Settinelli Directors of Editing: Jessica Powell & Tianna De Silva Directors of Content: Tynique Dimcevska & Sarah Ramantanis Front Cover “Strong Independence” by Rubii Red Contributors Nikayla Bamblett Janet Bromely Emily Edwards Nellie Green Emma Hunt Indianna Hunt Leah Hunt Melba Hurley
Rosie Kalina Jesse Munzel D’tarneen Onus-Williams Sarah Ramantanis Sky Thomas Kiley Walkerden Blayne Welsh
Special thanks Ngarn-gi Bagora Bendigo Student Association Wodonga Student Association
Want to submit your work? Get in touch. Email: email@example.com Website: www.rabelais.com.au Facebook: LTSU Rabelais Student Media Instagram: ltsu_rabelais
3 / Rabelais Indigenous The content and discussions in this magazine is made to engage with the cultures and stories of past and present members of the Indigenous people in our community. Much of it will be emotionally and intellectually challenging to engage with, especially written word that discusses racism and sensitive life experiences. Indigenous Australians place great importance on observing cultural protocols, but there are many different practices and protocols across Indigenous Australia. The contents in this magazine do not reflect the views and opinions of the La Trobe University Student Union. What’s inside: 4 From your Indigenous Officer 5 Letter from the Editors 6 From your LTSU President 7 A Message from the Vice-Chancellor 8 50 Years: Indigenous La Trobe 10 Welcome to Country (a spoken word poem) 12 Life at La Trobe 13 A Night-time Lullaby 14 Koori Gras: A Voice for the First Australian Queer Community 17 My Journey 18 “I Ain’t Bothered” 19 Our Women 20 I am Hopeless, But I am Hopeful 22 The Life of Rosie Kalina 24 The Great Race 26 Dear Blakhouse 28 A word from BSA Equal Opportunity Officer and Artwork from Masters Student, Janet Bromely 30 “2 Deadly, 4 U” 31 “We Stan a Queen” 32 Our Voice Project 34 Sorry Day: A Reflection 36 Soju: The Well Renowned Cityrat 38 Two Worlds 40 Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes 42 What is Sorry Day? 44 Since Fuck Australia 46 Jasper Jones: A Tale Worth Telling 49 A Day to Remember 50 Notable Indigenous Artists 59 Market Day and Harmony Day with the Wodonga Student Association 62 Rabel-Gamez
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Ngata (hello) and welcome to the first Indigenous focused Rabelais, celebrating Indigenous culture from many different avenues. I’m Christopher Lyndon-George Saunders and I’m your Indigenous Student Representative for 2018, returning from an amazing year in 2017. I’m a proud Gunditjmara man from southwest Victoria. I’ve been living and studying on campus at La Trobe University which is situated on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. I would like to acknowledge the traditional lands and waters of the Wurundjeri and surrounding nations who make up the Kulin Nations. Your sovereignty has never ceded and I acknowledge this.
I'd also like to acknowledge all other Indigenous peoples from around this country that we now know as Australia. Your sovereignty has never ceded and I acknowledge this. May we walk humbly on this beautiful land together.
It’s been amazing to converse and hear from many different artists and leaders who have helped me put together this edition of Rabelais. In this edition I’ve hoped to expose you all to the fluidity of Indigenous culture and the many different ways the contributors expressed their opinions and art forms. It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least, but the end result is something that I hope you can explore in your own time, and dive into aspects of Indigenous culture that you may not have been open to previously.
As a guest to this land, I'd like to give thanks to the Elders of the past that have fought the fight to place our people in this time of opportunity we find ourselves in now. Your teachings and sacrifices live on in our young people. I’d also like to give acknowledgement to the elders who are with us who are teaching and supporting the up and coming elders of tomorrow. Thank you for continuing that fight and entrusting us with more than 60,000 years of traditions and lore.
I’ve had the privilege to represent the Indigenous students who attend La Trobe since 2017 through the La Trobe Student Union. There have been a lot of great events run in the past that have engaged La Trobe University with Indigenous culture in some way and with the year not being over yet, be sure to keep an ear to the ground of upcoming events from our department. Enjoy!
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The LIFE edition. Wominjenka everyone, and welcome to edition three: the Indigenous edition of Rabelais! We’re glad Welcome you’ve todecided to read, discover, and learn with us today! edition two of Rabelais, we’re glad you’ve flicked through and are reading
“I decided long ago,
never to walk in anyone’s shadows with us today! We would like you all to join us in acknowledging the traditional owners of the land in If I fail, if I succeed which we meet and where Rabelais is made: the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We At least I’ll live as I believe It’s been an overwhelming year so far. Noowners matter whatof they from me would also Welcomed like to acknowledge the traditional alltakeother campuses in which we by contributors, readers and an They can’t take away my dignity” amazing team behind us, Rabelais is at full learn, celebrate, and share: the Latje Latje (Mildura campus); the Dja Dja Wurrung (Bendigo speed. The Greatest Love All Yorta Yorta (Shepparton campus); the Dhudhuora (Albury-Wodonga campus); andofthe Whitney Houston Our office is constantly filled with coffee, campus) peoples, whose sovereignty was never ceded. We would also like to inform guests and lots of laughs. Our walls are everyone that thewith contents in pieces this edition mayWith bring love, up strong emotions for our readers, and covered inspirational from wonderful people, including past works from be emotionally challenging to our readers. as such might contain narratives that could volunteers and editors who have made our
magazine so wonderful until this in To say the least, this year hasupbeen a point whirlwind, and we’re only just about to get halfway! So time. far, we’re proud to say that since our O-Week Guide, readership, contributions, and student engagement gone up. office is run by three main things: coffee, cheese, and your Lifehave is about shaping whoOur we are as human messages of love,andinterest, andgrowth contributions. We’re more than happy to have you on this beings, the continuous of the us. Advancing into the digital journey withworld us,around and we’re so excited for the next half of the year - yes, we have even more of technology, the rise of consumerism surprises! age and the battle of keeping our world bright for the
we are the next and very close to our hearts. We are more than proud to say that This editionfuture, is very special, leaders of our city. this is the first edition in the history of Rabelais and the LTSU that focuses on Indigenous Our culture, our pride and of the wider community. We have been preparing for this students, staff, and the cultures our efforts are important since January, and finally, it’s here, and it’s a lot better than how we imagined it would be. - and in the LIFE edition, we’re proud to share the
voices, the stories In this edition, you’ll findand pieces of gold and a little bit more: talented writers who will hold the essence of our next your hand and guide you through history - the good and the bad. Artists who will take you influential leaders. on a journey, from traditional to modern Indigenous art, and writers who can expand your knowledge through books and music. You’ll find the most interesting stories of everyday life, imagination, struggle, but most of all, stories of resilience. So embrace it, and walk with us through this journey.
Thank you to Ngarn-gi: especially to Joel, Nellie, and Renee, who provided us with guidance, direction, and support all throughout this edition. Last but not the least, thank you to Chris: it’s been a long and tough ride, but we made it through. We hope that everyone who picks up a copy of this edition can learn and grow as much as we have in the process of putting it together. With love,
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A Message from
your LTSU President
Hey everyone! It’s Michael, the President of the La Trobe University Student Union. First and foremost, I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands and waters on which the La Trobe University campuses are situated: the Wurundjeri, Latje Latje, Dja Dja Wurrung, Dhudhuora, and Yorta Yorta peoples. I would also like to acknowledge that the lands on which each campus is built are Aboriginal lands whose people’s sovereignty was never ceded. I would like to pay my respects to elders past, present, and future. I would also like to acknowledge the different cultures that make up La Trobe University. The La Trobe University Student Union is committed to honouring and remembering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ unique and rich cultures. La Trobe University is the first university to have an Indigenous population that is proportional to the Indigenous population in Victoria while there is still much to be done, this a great step towards equality.
In this edition is a wide range of content, from everyday life, art, stories, and Indigenous history. The LTSU is committed to ensuring that Indigenous students and staff are heard; that Indigenous cultures are celebrated and shared and continue to form a part of the Student Union; and that Indigenous history is acknowledged. This edition is the first of its kind in the history of Rabelais, and we are immensely proud of the result. With the hard work of our Rabelais Team, our Indigenous Officer Christopher Saunders and the team at Ngarn-gi Bagora, especially Nellie, Joel, and Renee, this edition was put together to showcase the rich and unique Indigenous cultures not only in La Trobe University but in the wider community. We would also like to note that this edition might include topics that may cover sensitive issues that may cause distress. I hope you enjoy from this edition as much as the team enjoyed putting it together.
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A MESSAGE FROM THE VICE - CHANCELLOR: Professor JOHN DEWAR Welcome to a very important edition of Rabelais – the first to be centred on Indigenous students and culture. La Trobe University acknowledges that our campuses are located on the lands of many traditional custodians, and we value the unique contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples make to the fabric of the University and to Australian society. At La Trobe University we support and promote Indigenous students and culture in various ways. For example, we have an exceptional team in our Indigenous Strategy and Education Unit that provides support to Indigenous students at La Trobe. The unit furthers our ambition to increase Indigenous access, participation, retention, and success. We also recognise important occasions such as Sorry Day, Harmony Day and NAIDOC week throughout the year, and we host events across our campuses to promote Indigenous culture and history. For example, we present an annual lecture, the Hyllus Maris Memorial Lecture, which is the first memorial lecture in honour of an Aboriginal woman on an Australian university campus. La Trobe was also the first university in Victoria to introduce a compulsory Indigenous learning module, Wominjeka La Trobe, which many of you will have completed. Our University Elder, Aunty Joy Murphy AO, assisted in creating the module, and I hope it has improved your knowledge of local Indigenous culture and helped you to make links between Indigenous knowledge and values, and your own attitudes and beliefs.
Global citizenship is an important part of being a student at La Trobe, and we hope that the cultural literacy skills you have learnt through the Wominjeka La Trobe module will equip you with the knowledge and skills that you need to be a thoughtful citizen of Australia and the wider world. The University’s Ideas and Society Program is presenting a discussion at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 14 June that will give you more insights into issues that Indigenous people face. One of Australia’s most notable Indigenous leaders, Noel Pearson, will discuss relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales. I encourage you to attend the event if you can fit it into your busy schedule. Visit latrobe. edu.au/news/ideas-and-society for details. Finally, I congratulate the editors on putting together an edition of Rabelais that is devoted to Indigenous students and culture, and I hope you enjoy reading this important edition of Rabelais. Professor John Dewar, Vice-Chancellor
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Graphic from: La Trobe University Indigenous Guide 2017
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Welcome to Country a spoken word piece Blayne Welsh
Yaama everyone, I’d like to give you my Welcome to country, And no, this isn’t from the Boonwurrung or the Wurrundjeri. Wailwan and Kamilaroi, that’s my identity. But I know some people think I can Welcome just because I’m an Aborigine, But I gotta respect something called Cultural Authority. So this one comes, well, it just comes from me. Welcome to your country, I’m glad you love it too. From eucalyptus tree to the jumping kangaroo. Do you have a favourite animal? I’d really like to know! Maybe the wedge tailed eagle in the sky or wombat down below. I’ve never had a chance to see my favourite animal, She was my grandmother, Because for her and my father when he was born, they were considered fauna. But it’s all good and I’m not hurt by all that bull, Because I love my dad, he’s a deadly animal. There’s other deadly things here too, it’s quite an expansive list, Of course the top spot still belongs to the great white colonist. That’s one of the reasons why the settler likes to live by the sea, That and you can wash the blood off your feet more conveniently. Oh I’m sorry... are you getting offended? That’s not a mistake. Because I know what else is white? A snowflake.. You know that term that the right delight in shouting to the night, When an oppressed minority seeks safety as is their right. Some settlers seem to think things like equality, parity and just simple empathy, Means we’re committing genocide against them racially. Now I know genocide is a difficult concept with which to sit, But hey the settler knows best because, you invented it. “But can’t blame me can we? It’s not like this happened recently.” Well here’s the reality: My dad was stolen and he’s only 60. “You lost so get over it?” Yeah, I’ve had that said to me. I usually say I will when you get over Gallipoli. Now I know we gotta respect those diggers who died for victory on that fateful day. ...
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Nah, just kidding, we all know they just ran away. It seems back then settlers respected sovereignty and had a fear of facing defensive gunfire but not as much when facing the spear. It’s that myth of brave battlers down under conquering the sun But we know you’ll shit your pants if each of us ends up with a gun. It would be scary if we escalated to violence from poetry and graffiti, Maybe then you’d turn around and scream “Please give us a treaty!”. Of course it couldn’t happen, you’re too good at extermination It was after all the foundation for your sovereign nation. Yes I know, we’re in 2018, nobody is gonna shoot An Aboriginal kid anymore, now you just kill them with your ute. Lest we forget Elijah Doherty, ran down at fourteen. A dozen school children in Kalgoorlie chased, twenty seventeen. The bomb that was thrown injuring three in Broome back twenty thirteen, The thrower of course was white, the victims Aboriginal. Oh didn’t hear about that? That’s because of a bigger story, an empty suitcase at a terminal. And even more recently, a white foster carer tortured their adopted child, An Aboriginal ward, and it had been going on for a long while, No major mainstream media coverage on that, too distressing I’d surmise But stop! Let’s all listen to some white people’s opinion on Sunrise. Seriously looking at what happened, actual stats and averages, I’m perplexed as to why we’re the ones you people called savages. But for the settler allies out there let me now make you aware, You are welcome to our country, because we know what it means to share, And that’s why I’m standing before you performing this refrain In order to share with you my anger and my pain, And my total dissatisfaction with the complete lack of action Of our supportive public to stand up to the fraction Of the settlers that would see us mowed down if given the authority To carry out the racial cleansing they all fantasize about secretly. While they pretend to “reconcile” with all these handouts, this “free” stuff, That they relentlessly complain about while saying I’m not Aboriginal enough. So I guess I’ll go back to my “free” house in my “free” car, Enjoy my “free” tuition and get handed my “free” marks. And I’ll take your thoughts and your prayers, And your likes and your shares. And I’ll drive through your country, playing my “Aboriginal card”. You’re welcome to your country, You know. The one you built on a graveyard.
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Life at La Trobe Emily Edwards
Hi, my name is Emily Edwards and I am a proud Mutti-Mutti Woman. When I think about coming to university, it’s always been about making a difference in people’s lives and being a role model for myself, my family and my people. Like everyone else, I have faced challenges and hardship along the way, which has built my resilience and strengthened my passion within. I often think about how lucky I am; becoming an Indigenous social worker wasn’t always the pathway destined for me. In my family, I’m the first to finish high school and go to university. I don’t come from a wealthy background, and surviving is something I’ve done a bit of. High school was a time of experiencing new things and meeting different people in the attempt to find myself. I was fortunate to build strong relationships with my teachers and the Indigenous Liaison Officer who became one of my greatest life mentors. I still remember the day she pointed out the Social Work Program at La Trobe and said, “Em, you’d be amazing working with people. They need somone like you.” Since being at La Trobe I have become closer to my culture then I ever have been before; I have reconnected with family members, discovered family I previously didn’t know about, and learnt about my heritage and culture. There have been recurring times in my life where I’ve felt torn between staying and further excelling in my education, or leaving and working to support those who I care about. These experiences are reminders, reminding me why I pursued university and what La Trobe has done for me. I feel that I have grown to understand myself and my past, which has helped strengthen my sense of identity. I feel equipped and determined to finish the final year of my degree and empowered to continue to make a difference in people’s lives within the community.
d the r the ing
her ese as
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A Night time Lullaby (A Sorry Day Poem) Nellie Green
As she sings a night-time lullaby There’s no baby there to hear her cry She’s a Mum of two But there’s only one child there The other was taken She does not know where No soothing hugs or gentle smiles She sits and waits there all the while Her letters were sent but not received Authorities only worked to deceive Separated by forces that sought to control She simply wants her family to be whole Separated upon his birth No walks shared on the deep red earth No special stories handed down Only grief scattered all around No culture shared, no times together But a Mother’s love is forever Her son was told that she was dead But he created her letters in his head Assuring him he was not alone Through all the times he had grown She seeks comfort from spirits above As her son seeks only his Mother’s love...
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A voice for the First Australian Queer Community An Interview by Sarah Ramantanis
Our Director of Content Sarah conducted an interview with Tim Bishop, the co-curator and researcher behind the first Mardi Gras platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - Koori Gras.
The Koori Gras is a lively showcase supporting First Peoples Queer performance, community and culture. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community come together from all around the world to celebrate in Sydneyâ€™s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival. Koori Gras began as a small exhibition event within the Mardi Gras to show support for the Indigenous Queer community. In 2017, the co-curator of the exhibition Tim Bishop compiled an interactive timeline charting the involvement of the Indigenous participation in Mardi Gras Parade throughout history. I spoke to Tim to understand the research and creation behind Koori Gras and what this means for Indigenous Queer people.
15 / Rabelais Indigenous S: So Tim, how did the idea for Koori Gras come about? T: During the time of the small exhibitions, I began to receive stories from First people that were in the parade. My son put together a website asking for the community to send stories and photographs, I knew anyway what most of the history was but I still went online, watched videos, just to go looking for black presence in Mardi Gras Parade. I then put it altogether in an interactive timeline called Black Mardi Gras Net. With the success of that and the attention it got, this opportunity came along this year through Moogahlin Performing Arts to put on an exhibition or Arts event in the period of Mardi Gras. They had the idea of “let’s give Tim this project,” we will turn it into an exhibition and we will out through a few Arts events into the slot of that five days. S: What was your main initiative behind the project? T: Part of the reason why I did it is a lot of the people who are my age and are older have passed away, so I really felt a sense of responsibility to actually document these stories that I know of theirs (First People LGBTQ) before me and of theirs now, you know so that people like me or other members of the community my age that are gone and that no more lose their story. The name could lose that history and that was the real initiative. It was talked about for a while, and then I just decided to do it. I really enjoyed creating it, and it became a bit bigger than I expected (laughs) but that’s okay. S: The theme around the 2017 Mardi Gras Festival was ‘Creating Equality.’ Do you believe the Koori Gras entered the event at the perfect time? T: Oh you’re exactly right. Of all the themes, the theme of, ‘Creating Equality,’ was most significant to First Peoples. It is asking the community to sort of think about equality and the outside such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ call for equality. You know, there are far more important and driving issues that call for equality that hadn’t been given the opportunity or achieved yet in terms of health, education, employment. We are behind that achievement for equality, but there is still a bigger struggle. In the 1978 Equality protest, it wasn’t just a call for Gay and Lesbian equality, they were also calling for the equality for Black people. There is a real fear behind this issue of gay marriage; people may feel that once this is achieved all is achieved. This is absolutely not the case. S: Do you believe people are now taking notice to the First People Queer Community, as your website and event has become more publicised than expected? T: Absolutely, there is a lot of interest in it. One of the reasons being, well, it is a relatively small community as in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community, only roughly four percent of Australia. So there has not been a high representation, so they need visibility and that’s the case for any marginalised or minority group. They are small fish in a big pond you know, so they don’t get seen. Now, pulling this all together and putting it into one project where the focus is just these people, this minority in this parade, you get to see a picture and have the opportunity for five days just to say we’re just going to look at Black people. In the parade’s and the films and the movies over the years, you didn’t really look at them very much, you didn’t document them. So we pulled together what we discovered and put these little fish in a bigger pond (on the website) to show it off. The wider audience is now noticing and going, “oh, I didn’t realise there was such a level of Black presence in the Parade.” It’s lovely that there is interest, it really is. It’s genuine interest and its great support from Mardi Gras who are also co-curating this project.
16 / Rabelais Indigenous S: Whilst conducting your research, were any of the findings particularly surprising to you?
PHOTO: Gavin Ivey, 2015 Parade, Freedom
T: There has been a few surprises, particularly around 1988 which sort of recognises the first original Aboriginal entry in the parade, which is now approaching almost 30 years ago. I knew the men who had put the exhibition in that parade together, most of them have passed now it was a small group of men. When I went online, I got in contact with someone who was with one of the leaders of that parade Kimberley O’Sullivan and you know, online being online, somebody had reported that there was an issue around the fact that Kimberley and Deb Thomson (leader) had asked to lead the parade that year. There was a lot of press articles released at the time as people has an issue of dealing with the contentious issue of the bicentenary. I just didn’t realise that there was all this sort of contention around being in the parade. There was also support for it, Mardi Gras was also stepping in and saying “we will allow anyone to put anything in the parade.” So yeah, things that I didn’t realise, they were the sorts of things that were turning up. I also came across, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I came across the gay press actually stirring the pot. It wasn’t so much the outside community, they were actually looking for the drama, they were looking for a story. The other thing that is always there in the press is those when they are talking about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the community, you know, you are not actually hearing from a Torres Strait Islander person themselves. They weren’t writing the letters or being asked what they had thought. This was around 30 years ago in saying so, but this is also when the White Fellas began to enter the parade and offer their support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Only two weeks ago, I found a document, reconciliation group papers that outlined aboriginal representation in the parade, the first being a banner. S: Do you feel as though real issues of importance, such as the participation of First People in Mardi Gras Festival, can be overlooked as the community can perceive Mardi Gras as a celebration or a party? T: That is why I have created this timeline. The history is forever and is always going to be there. The community are really excited about it and it is a celebration. The energy is going to show itself and the constantly expanding representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queer people is what will showcase the awareness at the Mardi Gras and hopefully call for more exhibitions such as the Koori Gras to happen again. It is a great opportunity for the community to come together and that is what becomes more and more important. Also, it happened in Redfern in 2017, which is an aboriginal suburb. S: What would you like to see change in the Australian LGBTQ movement? T: I think what probably needs to change is what the visibility of minority communities such as First People Queers look like. Increasing the visibility, work against the stereotypes, hear the stories of the real people you know, where they work, what they do and what their lives really are. You can see Tim’s timeline of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in Mardi Gras at blackmardigras.net
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My Journey Kiley Walkerden
I am of Aboriginal descent from the Wonnarua Nation, people of the hills. Over the years, I have managed to reunite with my lineage. I have recognised how important it is for my well-being to return to my country, ground my feet within its soil, and manage stress through painting.
van und ar. ith
so hings s, I It ere e ow, â€™t in eir ound
e ing ait ully y for Also,
uch ear ves Gras
As a mature age student coming to university, the struggles are real. However, coming to university was not the beginning of my struggles. My struggles began at the completion of Year Eight, my final year of schooling. Upon leaving school, I became homeless and was consumed by alcohol and substance abuse. It was the day that my first child, who I had at home, took his first breath. However, my struggles had taken another turn. After leaving a toxic relationship with the father of my two children, the waves came crashing in. Four years with a mental health service provided me with the strength and opportunities to calm the waves that I had been crashing into for so many years. In 2015, I started a course in community services and youth work. The following year, I completed a Diploma and I am now in my third year at university. My journey through life has been a struggle, but I wouldnâ€™t change the outcome of events that have taken place. My experiences have shaped and made me the person I am today and without my experiences, I would have never enrolled at La Trobe University to become a social worker and assist other people who are struggling in life. Artwork: Kiley Walkerden
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Artwork: Rubii Red, @lifeofrubii
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Our Women Nellie Green
The fathoms to which the Women reach To stay at peace To ‘stay in their places’. For so long being Mothers, wives, mistresses And generally just there. The eternal Spirit that sits Within, waiting for the right moment to seize, To protect their sacred social space. Longing to prove they are more than capable. Only to have their freedom elude them, dismissed and Competing with class chaos, sexual spite And ignorant innuendos. The blood that spills, the tears that drop the child that becomes A witness to abuse and endangerment. Becomes a victim too. The blood and tears and fear Is the hope for what can be Not part of which couldn’t, or shouldn’t be allowed.
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I am hopeless, Leah Hunt
I am hopeless, But I have hope. I am hopeless because, We continue to die at the hands of the white man, And yet white man goes unjustly punished, Reminding us that our lives, the lives of our children, don't matter, Or at least, don't matter as much as material objects, such as a motorbike, I am reminded that as an Aboriginal woman, I am more likely to suffer domestic abuse, Or abuse of any kind, and that I am more likely to die from this abuse, Just like Ms Dhu, or Lynette Daley, We have had so much taken from us, by the white man and woman, Our language, our homelands, our culture, even our children, Right now, more Indigenous kids are being removed from their homes at a higher rate than ever before, We are still living with Stolen Generations, and that trauma that we have faced, is just getting worse, not better, Many of our people still live in poverty, and are forcibly removed from their homelands, by white men, enforcing white legislation, Our land is abused by mining and fracking, even when we say no, We have to riot, to have a voice in our own country, To try and gain adequate justice for the murder of our people, Palm Island riots, Redfern riots, Kalgoorlie/Boulder riots, Our land, that has been taken from us, in which we have fought, and bled for continues to be raped, and any trace of our existence is wiped from it, We are the black history of Australia.
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But I have hope I am hopeless, But I have hope.
But I have hope because, I believe that one day, our land will be ours again, to nurture and care for as we have for the last 65,000 years, I hope that we will stop dying in custody, and that I won't have to worry for my own family's safety whilst they are locked up in a white man's prison, facing a white man's justice, I have hope that our lives won't be seen as lesser in value than a motorcycle, or money, or any sort of material possession, I hope we will never see a white man walk away from the pre-meditated murder of a black child, I have hope that the women in my family will one day, not have to worry about being abused by our partners, the fathers of our children, I have hope that one day, our children will stop being taken from us, I have hope that one day we will be recognised as a sovereign people, as warriors, for that is what we are. I am hopeless, But I have hope. I have hope that we will have better days, I am hopeless because I know that that day is not tomorrow.
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The life of
Rosie Kalina Rosie Kalina
I am a proud Wemba Wemba and Gunditjmara woman living in Naarm (Melbourne) and I am an artist, specialising in makeup art. I joined Instagram around 3 years ago to express myself creatively as I had always loved to paint. I am an alumni of the Emerging Cultural Leaders programme at Footscray Community Arts Centre and have collaborated with other artists to paint a mural. On Instagram, I found a community of like-minded people from all around the world who also found Instagram as a way to express themselves through makeup artistry. It was incredibly encouraging and heart-warming when my follower count began to grow from 1 follower to now over 60,000. The amount of followers isn’t necessarily an indication of success, however, I am proud of that number because I find it validating to see how many people I reach with my artistry. More importantly, though, is that whenever I am given a shout out by makeup artists or brands that I look up to (or most recently when I was included in a Canadian Huffington post article), the excitement of being acknowledged is there, but an even better feeling is how my own mob and community lift me up and support me. I translate my cultural identity into my makeup artistry, and other forms of art that I engage with. This shows how modern Indigenous culture can be transformed and incorporated into so many facets of our everyday lives, such as something as simple as makeup. As a proud Koorie woman, what I do is a reflection of my background, my culture, and my history, and as long as I am making my family and my mob proud, I am happy. I feel that it’s my responsibility as a Koorie woman to represent my community. I am currently co-curating an art exhibition with Hannah Morphy Walsh at Footscray Community Arts Centre named, ‘Blak to the Future,’ which includes both new and commissioned works by all young, Aboriginal artists ranging from the ages 13 to mid-twenties. I feel that it’s important that as young Blakfullas we can take up space and be able to make our voices heard in a safe environment for us to yarn, learn and create. I myself will include blown up images of the makeup Instagram posts I have made. ‘Blak to the Future’ started out as a concept where ‘Australia’ was envisioned by Aboriginal young people without the deterrence of white settler violence, and a future that was based on our own self-determination. We are often told to “get over the past,” but I find that ironic as Aboriginal people are the ones who are always thinking of the future: we are the ones who are marching, rallying, and fighting for our people, our environment, and our future. This is my first curatorial job, and as challenging as it has been, I have absolutely loved it and it has re-sparked my passion for collaborating with other artists. Stay tuned, because what began as a concept for this exhibit slowly grew into what will now be an artist collective.
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"As a proud Koori e woman, what I do i s a reflect i o n of myas background, my cult u re, and my hi s t o ry, and as long I am making my famihappy. ly and" my mob proud, I am @rosiekalina
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The Great Race Emma Hunt
Indigenous storytelling has always been a big part of our culture. This is not a dreamtime story, but rather, a look into how imagination and human understanding can help create people’s understanding of how we all came to be, similar to that of a dreamtime story in its own right.
Here’s a history lesson on how the planets came to be. It began with a race around the galaxy. There was Wyatt, who was as high as a kite, surfing through the galaxy. Wyatt travelled the galaxy on his surfboard, trying to find the best Indie music and the best sport. He was also an eccentric genius, and the original owner of the blueprints for a jet pack fuelled by Red Bull and soda. He sought the recognition he deserved. Robin was flying a rocket made of fractions, which ran on the fuel of pi. Now Robin didn’t really know anything about math, but the rocket wasn’t even his; it had been left unattended at a gas station where he took it from. Robin had travelled the galaxy in the fraction rocket with the goal of becoming a comedian. When nobody seemed to be appreciative of his comedic talents, he decided to test his courage in a race around the galaxy. Ruth was in her sushi hot air balloon, equipped with a paintball gun. Ruth was a very competitive person who put people at ease by acting kind and laid back so as not to appear threatening to others. But Ruth’s thirst for winning was not yet sated, so she travelled around space in order to enter all the best races in the galaxy. Margret had a jetpack, which ran on red bull and soda. Margret owned a small vegan restaurant in the Milky Way, and when someone “accidently” left blueprints for a jetpack and rocket lying around her restaurant, she decided to use them for her own means. Things were constantly misplaced or left lying around. If nobody was there to claim them, that was fine by her. A lady in a sushi balloon informed her about a race around the galaxy. Being an opportunistic soul, Margret decided to take her chances with her newly acquired transportation.
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Joy was in a UFO that looked like four spinning rings. Joy had been travelling through the galaxy looking for animals and stories in the universe when an unfortunate encounter gave Joy the inspiration she needed. She was travelling in her UFO one night when she collided with a guy in a fraction rocket. The guy was apologetic, mumbling something incoherent about a race around the galaxy. Joy was an unrivalled pilot. If there was a race going on, she wanted in. This race was going to determine the fastest way to get around the galaxy. The best mode of transportation would be judged: Wyatt’s surfboard, Robin’s rocket, Ruth’s sushi hot air balloon, Margaret’s jet pack, and Joy’s UFO. All were in fierce competition with each other, but none more than Ruth. Now, Ruth was extremely competitive, and would not accept second best. She was determined to win the race, whatever the cost. She grabbed her gun and her paintballs and concealed them within her hot air balloon. Her plan was to knock off the competition, one by one. The race began, and off they went. In the lead was Margret, then Wyatt, Robin, and Joy, with Ruth bringing up the rear. Margret was suddenly shot by Ruth with four paintballs, hitting her jetpack. The gas from the jetpack shot out in four directions, creating the four ‘Gas Giants’: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The hit to Margret’s jetpack was critical, and she fell hitting Joy’s UFO. This resulted in the rings around Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Now the only ones left in the race were Ruth, Wyatt and Robin. Suddenly, Ruth in her sushi hot air balloon started to overtake Wyatt. As Ruth passed, she aimed her paintball gun, shooting Wyatt to create Mercury and Mars. Ruth soon came up next to Robin, and aimed the paintball gun. Venus and Earth were created in the crossfire. Ruth felt triumphant. The race was hers. As Ruth relished in her victory, she failed to see a huge meteor hurtling in her direction. Ruth collided with the meteor, and blew up in the big, fiery ball we now refer to as the Sun. Now all the planets circle around the Sun, in a constant race around the galaxy.
26 / Rabelais Indigenous Disclaimer: this article contains drug references
Dear Blakhouse D’tarneen Onus-Williams
My name is Tarneen Onus Williams and I’m a Yigar Gunditjmara, Bindal, Yorta Yorta, and Torres Strait Islander woman. A few months ago, Blakhouse got a notice to vacate, and I’ve spent the last couple of weeks stressing about moving out. It has been pretty intense and heartbreaking. I know what you’re thinking “Tarneen you’re moving house. You’re not skipping town never to see anyone again.” But when I first moved in, my Uncle came over and told me that him, my pop, my aunties, and my uncles lived just across the road. My dad came for a visit and said that Yappera, an Aboriginal child care centre, was across the road too. We lived in Fitzroy and my family lived in the Fitzroy/Collingwood area after the missions closed down. Living in Fitzroy made me feel more connected to my community and family. Before I moved into Blakhouse my Pop passed away, and knowing he lived across the road gave me solace. Last night we sat on the staircase of our colonial Victorian terrace house yarning about the memories in the house. People found love in that house (not me, obviously I’m single heyyy), our hearts broke in that house, we were together when people had passed away, when Elijah had been killed by that white man, when Lynette Daley’s murder wasn’t served justice, when the Don Dale footage came out, and when Invasion Day came around. We learnt about our families, our blackness, our queerness, and our hotness no matter what body we had. We learnt self love and self care. We had so many sad memories in Blakhouse, but we shared so many funny memories too, for example: • • • • • •
Smoking yarndi and then watching Broad City and TRYING to play cluedo; Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ visual album projected onto my bedroom wall while crying in bed with Meriki and Nay; Having lit AF house parties. Our first big one was for Resistmas and only black people were allowed to attend (scandalous); Our solstice, solstece party when everyone dressed up in activewear in the middle of winter. I drank out of a drink bottle that was filled with vodka and had #DrinkWaterUMob; The night of my birthday party when the nightclub behind our house called the police because of the noise (thanks to Jermaine’s playlist); The time Meriki called in a noise complaint from her bedroom but the police refused to come;
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d my zroy ouse
he eyyy), Elijah hen our e
• • • • • •
We tried supplements that weren’t prescribed to us and that couldn’t be prescribed to us; Charging on the balcony on a Wednesday night; TRYING to go to Thursgays and never making it; We learnt we could be an aunty or uncle to our black cat niece Lafayette; The fact we didn’t use our kitchen, since we chose to use Marios; and Even the moment when 3 of us were sitting on the couch and someone said we’re all straight, and then we all realised that we weren’t actually straight.
I guess you can say we partied hard, but Blakhouse was an anchor for all of us. We were honest but also passive aggressive, friendships grew and fell apart, we were depressed but also living our best lives, we would challenge each other but loved each other, and we hated white people but had white friends or partners. In Blakhouse we were each other’s counsellors, and we were each other’s friends and family when our own family sucked at times. Amongst all of that we loved having the mob over. We even got a fold out bed in the lounge. I can say though we never dragged a mattress out on the lounge room floor. We built so many amazing friendship in Blakhouse, and friendships that will last a lifetime. We hosted blackfullas from around the country - Adelaide, Tasmania, Sydney, Armidale, Brisbane, Stradbroke Island, Cairns, Perth, Mooree, Portland. This occurred before we illegally started up an airbnb to host people of colour, queer, and trans people from around the world. I found my strength in my hot fat body and my queerness in this house. Blakhouse was my confidant from the white supremacist, queerphobic, and misogynist world outside the front door. Blakhouse will forever be in my heart and I’ll forever be thankful to my housemates who helped me learn and grow. Thank you to all thirteen housemates.
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A word from BSA Equal Opportunity Officer and Artwork from Masters Student, Janet Bromely Wominjeka. The Bendigo Student Association acknowledges it sits on both Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung Country, whose ancestors and their descendants are the traditional owners of this Country. We acknowledge that they have been custodians for many centuries and continue to perform age old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal. We acknowledge their living culture and their unique role in the life of this region. Recognition of the Indigenous and Torres Strait community is more than acknowledging the past but also about continuing into the present and onwards; to observe teachings of the values these cultures provide through rituals and stories that tell the stories of the true owners of our lands. At the BSA we will continue to foster and provide students the opportunity to continually grow and learn about the Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander community and their rich heritage through our promotion and participation in events such as the Central Victorian Indigenous Film Festival, Sorry Day, NAIDOC Week, and more. The BSA supports and recognizes the depth of outstanding creative talent within our Indigenous community. The artwork of La Trobe Bendigoâ€™s Masterâ€™s Creative Art, Indigenous student, Janet Bromley, is a poignant example of artistic expression to highlight the making ways of her ancestors. I thank her for allowing me to include her artwork in this article. Enjoy! Jesse Munzel Equal Opportunity Officer Snapchat: BSA_Bendigo Facebook: BSA Bendigo Website: bsabendigo.com.au
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“One of my passions is recycling op-shop clothing into wall hangings, baskets and sculpture. When I create I am often doing it with no purpose, I’ll start experimenting, things will come together and as soon as I see what they are doing, how they interact I’ll move on to the next thing. I’ve created in this way all my life. While I’m creating I’m also exposing life issues as they come to the surface from remembering and ways of puzzling something out. I use recycled clothing, paperbark, wire and found materials to make objects reminiscent of the making ways of my ancestors.”
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Artwork: Rubii Red, @lifeofrubii
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OUR VOICE PROJECT Indianna Hunt Gunditjmara, Jadawadjali, Wamba Wamba
The annual Koorie Youth Summit, which is approaching its fifth anniversary, has become a staple on young Koorie’s calendars here in Naarm (Melbourne). From all over Australia, young first peoples come to be proud, learn, share, connect, discuss issues, and celebrate. The theme for the 2017 summit was ‘Our Identity, Our Resilience, Our Story.’ I was fortunate enough to be asked by the Koorie Youth Council to create an artwork for the 2017 summit. As the artist, I had the privilege of bringing the idea of the Koorie Youth Council to life. The Council wanted a large-scale image of our Creator Bunjil in his form of Eaglehawk (Wedge Tail Eagle). We wanted to involve the summit delegates with the artwork and to pay respects to Koorie Elders, both past and present, whilst looking to the future of the Koorie people. As soon as I was informed of the summit theme, I knew I wanted to create a mixed media artwork. I bought a large piece of Plywood, a coping saw from Bunnings, and borrowed my dad’s sanding tool. I drew the shape of Bunjil that I wanted, cut him out from the Plywood, and sanded the plywood to make it smooth. I also bought tonnes of paper from various craft stores. I spent hours and hours cutting out paper in the shape of feathers with the help of
33 // Rabelais Rabelais Indigenous Indigenous 33 my family. We used paper card in natural looking colours as well as the colours of both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. I inked the edge of each feather and stuck them down on Bunjil - a process that took an entire three days. Once this was completed, individual feathers were written on by the delegates, who were asked to write what they intended to use their voices for, and what change they want to see for the future of Aboriginal Peoples in their communities around Australia. Not only do these feathers and their messages display how proud we Aboriginals are of our connection to our culture and our communities, they also represent change in the structure of our society. For me personally, as well as for my role as artist, this artwork represents the proud history of Aboriginal peoples in Victoria as well as our future leaders who are stepping up and making changes throughout our communities. The image of Bunjil in flight carrying the messages of our future on his back is a proud depiction of resilient strength. Such resilient strength is found in all Aboriginal communities across Australia. The Our Voice project is an initiative I am extremely proud of. I was honoured to be commissioned to produce the artwork which is now displayed in the office of the Koorie Youth Council. The Koorie Youth Summit 2018 is coming up soon on the 13th and 14th of June.
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Sorry Day: Nellie Green
Sitting here the night before, the feelings can be overwhelming. Another Sorry Day is upon us and another year of reflection. It always seems this is the time of year for that. Not Christmas or my birthday or even New Year’s Eve. But around now in the white man’s Autumn. In May. May 26th to be exact. Sorry Day. The Journey of Healing. Most other days, however, it seems to the rest of the world that this day means nothing at all. May 26th is sucked up into the vacuum of life and survival that makes up the rest of the year. Sorry Day is just ONE day. But it is not the ONLY day for this reflection. As Indigenous people we carry bits of what makes Sorry Day so significant for us, our communities, and our people with us most days, if not every day. How can we be separate from it? Those in my generation (born in the 60s) grew up with parents who were finally allowed to tell the world about their children who were forcibly removed from them. Declaring that it WASN’T for their own good, and that they DID deserve to be heard. As kids we learned we had sisters and brothers that we never knew about. I grew up as one of four children when I was actually one of six. In 1991 people hadn’t heard of the Stolen Generations. Certainly nobody in our family had heard of the Stolen Generations. But we had two children who were separated from us. The right of my siblings to grow up with their family and culture was stolen from them. The right of my mum to be a mother to one of her sons and one of her daughters was stolen from her.
Imag How rights she h My g and s Indoc signifi
This y Refer time. wasn
I refle separ consi did. T
I refle Partic main
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Imagine my grandparents generation. They weren’t able to speak out when it happened. How could people who weren’t even citizens in their own country speak up, demand their rights, and expect to be heard? My grandma applied for “citizenship”- a process in which she had to denounce her ancestry, her heritage, her culture, her people, and her family. My grandparents met in one of the missions that Indigenous people were rounded up and sent to. Christian missions! They were labelled as a ‘quarter-caste’ and a ‘half-caste.’ Indoctrinated into a foreign religion. Treated as savages. That is why this time of year is significant. Why it is confronting, and why it needs to be acknowledged. This year is particularly fraught for me, as we experience the 50 year anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that enabled Indigenous peoples to be counted in the population for the first time. By the time a census came around it was 1971. I was two. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so heart-wrenching. I reflect with deep respect and regard for my family members who bore the trauma of being separated and having children taken from their care, love, and protection. I reflect with consideration for those non-Indigenous people who had the capacity to help change things and did. Those who understood what we endured and stood shoulder to shoulder with us in support. I reflect with hope and aspiration that my People can be treated with respect and honour. Particularly as we forge our way in a time where speaking up, holding our ground, and maintaining our identity are as challenging as it ever was.
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the well renowned cityrat Sky Thomas If you’re someone who enjoys a night out, there’s a chance you’ve seen her: colourful throwback threads, a different hairstyle and colour every week. Drunk. Too much energy for her own good, and seems to know half the joint - from the DJs, bartenders, performers, to the club owners. You sit there watching her as she bounces from wall to wall and from person to person. You ask yourself, “how is this girl everywhere, and how is she always out?” You may be reading this either agreeing or not, but you’d be surprised how many people are familiar with me. ‘Sup, my names Sky - but in the scene, I’m known as Soju or SojuGang. I'm a cityrat. The nickname came from both my instagram and my love of Korean rice wine. People either knew me from my social media or by their familiarity of me maybe drunkenly telling them about soju while giving them a sip from under my coat in the corner of some club. This Korean wine used to be $3 a bottle. Before you judge, this is 20% alcohol that hits you 3 times faster than any other sauce. I went from being almost unknown to “hey! You’re Soju, right?” In 2013, I turned eighteen and started university at RMIT studying fashion. I had green hair and every item I owned was either from the late 80s or 90s. I was a walking time capsule of fashion, and a regular at underground clubs. I pretended to live at a student accommodation where I had convinced half the people - including staff and security - that I was a resident. I played basketball in between my classes, which quickly turned into me playing basketball instead of going to classes. I wasn’t always a social person, but I made an effort to attend as much art, music, and fashion hubs whenever I could make the trip to the city from the depths of the southeast suburbs, Dandenong. Back then, I stuck out - not because of my clothes or my hair, but because I was a person of colour - a blackfella. Not many people of colour, especially Indigenous kids, attended the events that I did, so whenever they were around, I made sure to go over and say hey. Some people could tell I was Aboriginal, some couldn’t. I guess that's the chill thing about it. The people I met in these spaces were more concerned about where I got a fake Versace sports jacket than my cultural background. That was cool, because they got to know me as a person: my likes and dislikes, which song I was feeling, how I despise China Bar, and my extensive knowledge of movie pop culture. So how did I get from a smol technicolour-dressed black girl dancing under strobes to bottle poppin’ club to club, eating Asian fusion takeaway at the backstage of Joey Bada$$’s set at a festival? It’s quite simple actually. There are two factors that helped me on my journey: club promotion and my love for Soju.
37 / Rabelais Indigenous I got asked to promote at this underground party joint, promoting free entry and a free drink every now and then. I partied. I chatted. I travelled home on the first train. This was my life every single Friday. I was dirt poor too, so this was amazing for me. I got poached for an RnB/hip hop joint. There, I was making $150 - $300 a week from having a list. Networking came naturally because I loved learning about others and I loved having a good time. From this, lots of other sick opportunities came my way - modelling, VIP invites, free gigs, you name it; this was all because of the people I’ve met these past couple of years, and I’m so lucky for that. Fast forward to the present and I’m living a boujee life on a pauper's budget. You’ll find me at most local hip hop/live music gigs, fashion shows, people of colour events, or anything that’s thriving with culture. I turned from being a promoter and a socialite to an events planner and resident DJ at Laundry Bar. I've upgraded and so has the scene. If you're lucky enough to live in Burn City then you may or may not know of the bountiful opportunities there are to party. Diverse is the best way to describe it - there are so many different venues, scenes, people, and experiences. If anything, from everything other than the Melbourne Bangerz scene, people of colour dominate every other platform genre, so you won't feel left out or alone as an Indigenous person on a night out. This city has everything to offer. You could be someone who loves live music: be it hip hop, jazz, soul, RnB. Or maybe you just like sitting in nice bars, chatting amongst friends. Don’t like any of that and just wanna drown yourself in glitter? We got that too. The possibilities are endless here - you just gotta stick your head out and be willing to try anything. In saying this, here's my advice to those of Melbourne, whether you're new or just haven’t been around town that much: people are more nice and approachable than you think, so go talk your head off to them. Everyone is used to living in their comfort zones, especially when it comes to friends on a night out. Reach out and don’t get so stuck in sticking with your own crew. Who knows who you’ll meet? Also, money doesn’t mean a damn thing. I usually go out with $20 - $40 to my name. Learn to like $5 wine and be willing to sacrifice your tastebuds to get lit. You’d be surprised what opens up when you're more set on partying than living a certain lifestyle. Surprisingly enough, you become more open to things when your cash is limited. Melbourne is full of so many things that are all just around the corner or down the street from one another, so go and try something new! Comfortable shoes are a must. Who says you have to be dressed to the nines - if you can't stay in them all night then are they really worth it? Granted, there are many places in Melbourne that have a dress code, but don’t go so overboard that looking cute sacrifices the fun you could possibly be having. And lastly, take that chance. Go to that random event that keeps popping up in your newsfeed. Follow that beat that you hear down the road that reels you in. Try out that bar your mate keeps talking about. In my opinion, no one's ever been able to plan the perfect night and follow through with everything – I don’t care what they say. Every great night out I had no idea what the next move will be. No plan equals no limit. Make everything out of any opportunity, because let's face it - we aren’t young forever. Make memories, do dumb shit. Maybe get kicked out of a bar or two. Own it, and live it.
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Two Nikayla Bamblett
When I was approached to write about my experience working with young people I thought, ‘this will be easy.’ Boy, was I wrong. Once I started writing about the amazing things Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people have to give to the wider Australian population, I kept thinking, ‘how can I get White Australia to understand young people as I do?’ It’s hard. It kept turning into this historical lesson on Australia and the continued systemic racism that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face. Draft after draft, it finally slapped me in the face: you can’t write about the amazing resilience our generations have without mentioning that Australia can be a hard place for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to live. For all those reading this and thinking to yourself ‘but it’s hard for everyone,’ take a moment to check yourself and realise that this article isn’t about you but other people. The other people that make up 2.8 percent of the Australian population. The people who are the most over represented people in social and emotional health, justice and education. The others who have the highest suicide rate in the world. To be a young person in general these days, you have to have thick skin. You have to be resilient and strong enough to handle the everyday pressures of growing up, everyday life, and especially social media. You are constantly bombarded with new ways you are meant to look, behave, feel, and it’s easy to feel like you have to change yourself to fit into that minute of social norm. It’s a lot. Now, young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people... they get all of that and then some. We got your basic horrors of young social life plus being black. In my eyes, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth are like magic. There is this tiny little spark that sits inside them, and when you give them a chance to let it shine, things change. From conversations and lived experience, I have been able to understand some of the basic everyday things Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people have to be conscious of that is, among other social pressures.
When colou skin, have even beca
Now conve white hang critic more
The p Every abou youth
Invite a tab sat in too y abou
Abor They 80,00 that c listen work spea
The r safe s
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When you grow up as an indigenous person, they already have a big strike against you. The colour of your skin can dictate how people interact with you on a daily basis. If you have dark skin, people are apprehensive of how you may take conversations so they are censored. You have to decipher any and all spoken words until it’s such an ingrained thing that you don’t even realise you’re doing it. This affects the relationships you build with those around you because trust and believing that another’s words are honest are not easy. Now if you are white passing people think it’s easier. You’re easier to approach, your conversations are less censored, and “you’re not like them ‘other ones’.” You’re not quite white enough to fit into the mainstream social circles and you’re not quite black enough to hang out with all your mob so you’re left somewhere in the middle doubting yourself and criticising everything you say and do because you are not wanting to alienate yourself even more.
The pressure, right? That’s just one example of a multitude of barriers they face. Every time I go to a conference or sit down at a meeting there is always a conversation about what we can do to provide better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, and my answer is always the same:
fe, nt to nute
Invite them, ask, and actively listen. Listen to what they are saying. There is no point sitting at a table with other adults, guessing what young people are thinking. Too many times, I have sat in meetings and watched a young person shut down for their noncompliance. They are too young, they wouldn’t understand, they aren’t old enough to know what they are talking about.
ttle ge. basic s of -
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth live with more knowledge than they even know. They live in two societies: one made up of social rules, and one where we share in over 80,000 years of celebration, love, and heartbreak. Having all this knowledge generates minds that can interpolate, analyse, and find solutions that may seem basic but when you really listen it makes more sense than what we are currently doing. 13 years I have travelled and worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. They are all look different, speak differently, and live differently, but they all want the same thing: The right to have their voice heard and make decisions for themselves. When you provide a safe space for just young people to sit down and talk, you will see that magic grow.
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Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes Leah Hunt
My identity is not yours to define. You tell me that I am not Aboriginal. That I couldn't possibly be Aboriginal I am not dark enough to be Aboriginal You deny me my identity An identity given to me by my mother By my ancestors. My identity is not yours to define. Your people created laws to bleach the colour in my skin Your people have now forgotten these laws. And deny the implications of these laws You deny that I could be fair skinned and Aboriginal I do not fit your stereotype of what I should look like That makes you uncomfortable I feel uncomfortable justifying my identity to you This is not something that I have to do. This is something I must do I have to remind you to ask me my race, You assume that I am only white Yet your laws have made me this way I am constantly told ‘No offence but you don't look Aboriginal’ ‘I can't really see it’ ‘I never would have picked you out as Aboriginal’
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I have heard these words many times in my life You say these things and expect me to act shocked. Itâ€™s not shock I feel. I feel frustration, anger and a little bit of hurt. I do not need you to point out the colour of my skin I have grown up in this skin It defines me, it hides me, it protects me My fair skin is Aboriginal skin. When you deny me my race based on the colour of my skin You deny my existence You deny the fact that I survive my people This makes my land seem empty and easier to claim My existence is inconvenient for you To deny me my existence based on my skin is a form of genocide A genocide that my people are surviving A genocide that my fair Aboriginal skin survived. A genocide that I have survived My existence is not yours to deny My land is not yours to claim My Aboriginal skin is not yours to characterise My identity is not yours to define.
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What is Sorry Day? What happens on Sorry Day? National Sorry Day is a day of recognition of past wrongs. On this day the Australian people come together to acknowledge the negative impacts that Australian Government’s policies have had on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Sorry Day allows people to come together to share their steps towards healing for the Stolen Generation, their families, as well as the communities that have been affected. On Sorry Day people come together to host events, barbeques, Sorry Day flag raisings, concerts, morning teas, lunches, reconciliation walks, the signing of ‘Sorry Day’ books, and much more. History The first National Sorry day, held on May 26 1998, commenced one year after the release of a report called ‘Bringing Them Home’. The report acknowledged how Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families and communities since the days of colonisation in Australia, primarily at the hand of Governments and missionaries. These heinous removal practices took place as they were believed to improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous children. The report highlighted the physical and mental pain endured by these children and families. Removal practices were implemented through assimilation and ‘protection’ policies in the late 19th century. These policies, particularly those of assimilation, assumed that Indigenous people were inferior to white people. Essentially they
were an attempt to kill off the Indigenous population and its culture by assimilating Indigenous children into white society. These children who were forcibly removed from their communities and families would come to be known as the Stolen Generation. They were raised in institutions or fostered in non-Indigenous families where they were forced to speak English, taught to ignore their Indigenous heritage and languages, and pressured to adopt white culture. These practices pursued through to the 1960s and were official Government policy until 1969. Assimilation policies ultimately failed in their goals to improve the lives of Indigenous people by forcing them to adopt white culture, since white society in Australia was not prepared to accept Indigenous people as their equals, even if they attempted to live like white people. Reconciliation in Australia Paul Keating’s 1992 Redfern Speech is historically considered to be one of the first and most significant moments of reconciliation made by the Australian Government. In his speech Keating highlighted that the Government's actions were the reason for the disparities that have existed between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Keating also set a concrete platform for beginning the process of reconciliation in Australia. He acknowledged that the ‘test we’ve always failed’ was the recognition of past wrongs:
43 / Rabelais Indigenous 'It begins, I think, with that act of recognition. Recognition that it was we who did the dispossessing. We took the traditional lands and smashed the traditional way of life. We brought the diseases. The alcohol. We committed the murders. We took the children from their mothers. We practised discrimination and exclusion.' Paul J. Keating The report ‘Bringing Them Home’, released in 1997, was a significant catalyst for reconciliation as it made the general public aware of the practices that took place. The public was largely unaware of these removal practices until after the report was released. As the public became more aware of these practices, public acts of reconciliation started to take place around Australia. For instance during the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk on May 28 2000, close to 300,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people marched together as an act of reconciliation. On August 26 1999, Prime Minister John Howard moved a Motion of Reconciliation, in which he expressed his ‘deep and sincere regret that Indigenous Australians suffered injustices under the practices of past generations, and for the hurt and trauma that many indigenous people continue to feel as a consequence of those practices.’ The opposition leader, Kim Beazley, moved to replace John Howard's Motion of Reconciliation with an unreserved apology but was not successful. This sparked a movement to recognise “Sorry Day” and put more and more pressure on the Government to apologise. A formal apology did not eventuate until after the 2007 election when Kevin Rudd and the Australian Labor Party formed Government. On February 13 2008, the Rudd Government tabled a motion in Parliament apologising to Australia’s Indigenous people, particularly the Stolen Generation, their families and the communities that they negatively affected, Kevin Rudd also apologised for other policies and laws that inflicted pain and loss through Indigenous families and
communities. In his apology Rudd also made a commitment to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, including matters such as life-expectancy, education, and economic opportunities. Rudd’s apology is considered to be one of the most influential steps towards reconciliation in Australian history. The year after Kevin Rudd gave ‘The Apology’ speech, the Government also signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Such an action displayed the Government’s ongoing commitment to the process of reconciliation in Australia. Where are we today? Years on from ‘The Apology’, Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians still feel that there has been little follow up from the Government in regard to the process of reconciliation. The ‘Close the Gap - 10 Year Review’ by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that the ‘Close the Gap Statement of Intent’ has only been partially and ‘incoherently’ implemented. Similarly, it found that the ‘Closing the Gap Strategy – a 25-year program’ was effectively abandoned after five years. Finally, it found that Torres Strait Islander health inequality has not gone away but is getting worse, and that there is a ‘funding myth’ about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health that exists in Australia. The Federal Government has recently been criticised, as their 2018-19 Federal Budget has done little to address funding concerns to deliver an overhaul of the ‘Closing the Gap Strategy’ which is due in October 2018. The Reconciliation Australia CEO Karen Mundine said “Closing the gap is a national priority. Now is the time to invest in outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – to set this strategy up to make real progress.”
44 / Rabelais Indigenous Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Rabelais Student Magazine or the La Trobe Student Union.
Since Fuck Australia D’tarneen Onus-Williams Yigar Gunditjmara, Bindal, Yorta Yorta, and Torres Strait Islander
It has been four months since I addressed the Invasion Day Rally 2018, held a microphone, and yelled, “fuck Australia, I hope it fucking burns to the ground!” People have asked me if I regret what I said and I always say no. I feel like it opened up the community and other people to see that yes, the system is broken, and yes, it needs to be destroyed by decolonisation and centring Aboriginal knowledge and sovereignty - this, in my opinion, is the only way we can be a sustainable society. The system needs a dramatic structural change, or it needs to be burnt off to make space for new growth because not only is the current system not working for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; it isn't working for other people of colour, refugees, and those with less power that are affected by this white supremacist, capitalist country. Seeing that Amerikkka, the UK, and France would rather spend 250 million dollars on weapons to launch missiles into Syria rather than let people seek refuge in these countries is shameful. The system that exists values profit over people, and the fact that we’re all complicit in that - including myself - makes me feel helpless and angry because this capitalist system doesn't work for anyone. It only works for the rich, which is only a small percentage of the world's population. The politicians and people who are supposed to progress us in this country are more worried about their brand and their look rather than caring if black people live or die. They refuse to give us any power - even the Aboriginal people in parliament have been silenced and their bid to be more self determining through this political system leaves them their Aboriginality at risk to their party. I too have felt like my Aboriginality is at risk in the organisations I’m involved with. Being an adolescent, my Aboriginality puts me a risk of being a teenage mum. I guess since the whole “fuck Australia, hope it burns to the ground,” I have been doing a lot of reflection and sometimes I will google my name at 1am and read through all of the horrible things Tim Blair and DailyMail wrote about me. Thankfully, Andrew Bolt broke his hand falling from a tree on Invasion Day when everything happened so I didn’t get much commentary from him. One of my biggest strengths I feel was the fact that I wasn’t sorry that I said what I said. I said it and I meant it in that context and I’m not going to apologise for being pro-Aboriginal in an anti-Aboriginal country for saying the systems in this country need to be destroyed. Myself and many other blackfullas are sick of Sunrise, the cops, and the racist government who won’t recognise our sovereignty. These people will never let us have self-determination because they want to control black lives and that's a fact.
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PHOTO: ‘Why are Aboriginal women in Australia hit with racism and sexual threats for sharing their views?’ by unknown, sbs.com.au
They want to control the black body, they want to colonise the black body, they want to kill the black body, and I’m angry that they want to do this to the black body. I am an angry black woman and I am allowed to be angry. If you are not angry about what is happening in this racist country then you aren’t doing the right thing, which is listening to the blackfullas in this country. You are centering yourself and your opinion over the actual reality of black people's experience and that is why I said what I said. This is why I am grateful to the people who supported me and started the #IStandWithTarneen, the people who refused to believe the media’s lies about me, and to the black people who understand the complexities in living, co-existing, talking, dressing, speaking and looking like the coloniser and understanding my anger and defending it. In the words of Chelsea Bonds at the Teaching While Black Forum: “Regardless if your hands are open wide, you’re kind, gentle and warm-hearted, you’ll always be framed as the angry black woman, just be the angry black woman.”
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A TALE WORTH TELLING Jasper Jones is a coming-of-age novel by Craig Silvey. Published in 2009, the book focuses on the thirteen year old protagonist, Charlie Bucktin. On a dreary summer’s night in 1965 Western Australia, Charlie is awoken by the illustrious outcast Jasper Jones. Jasper pleas for Charlie’s help. Charlie follows Jasper to his private glade in the Bush reluctantly, due to the Indigenous boy’s reputation of being a rebel without a cause. Here in the stark moonlight, the boys discover Jasper’s girlfriend’s dead body hung by an act of murder. Keenly aware of the social prejudice that will likely blame Jasper for Laura Wishart’s murder, the pubescent teens throw Laura’s body into the river. Unbeknownst to them, the boys then trigger a series of events which uncover the town’s deepest, darkest secrets, all the while trying to discover who murdered Jasper’s illustrious girlfriend.
poetic and authentically Australian tone, but also illustrates the profound experience of teenage angst in small and often racist country towns.
Similar to Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker style, Silvey manages to strike the perfect balance between young-adult simplicity and complex adult themes. Often, there’s a precarious point between following the rules for writing and breaking the rules for writing where occasionally something quite brilliant is created. Silvey manages to elegantly touch this fine line perfectly. The book is written in such a way that it doesn’t just create a
An indicative moment of Silvey’s tone is highlighted in his short passage about redemption.
Sorry means you feel the pulse of other people's pain as well as your own, and saying it means you take a share of it. And so it binds us together, makes us trodden and sodden as one another. Sorry is a lot of things. It's a hole refilled. A debt repaid. Sorry is the wake of misdeed. It's the crippling ripple of consequence.
47 / Rabelais Indigenous Sorry is sadness, just as knowing is sadness. Sorry is sometimes self-pity. But sorry, really, is not about you. It's theirs to take or leave. Sorry means you leave yourself open, to embrace or to ridicule or to revenge. Sorry is a question that begs forgiveness, because the metronome of a good heart won't settle until things are set right and true. Sorry doesn't take things back, but it pushes things forward. It bridges the gap. Sorry is a sacrament. It's an offering. A gift.” The over-punctuated sentence structure, overlapped with the simplistic yet proliferating rhetoric outlays the fine balance between Y.A. writing that tackles adult themes. It outlines the internal struggle of self-discovery that teenagers know too well. Her writing is truly fantastic. Within the writing is an experience that encapsulates the power of young love. There is a character who is plagued by the thought of not being good enough for his well-renowned girlfriend, all because of his Indigenous heritage. Jasper consistently watches his white friends find validation in personal connections, whereas his validation comes from misbehaving in class and playing well on the football field. His broken family and social isolation not only outlines the lack of infrastructure in Australian society for Indigenous peoples, but extrapolates the effect a lack of love can have on a character. Audience members are captivated by Jasper’s tales of finding validation in himself and in his love for another as he reminisces about times spent near the river with his girlfriend. He is able to imagine a future for himself, all because someone gave him the affection needed to empower a marginalised boy who has slipped through society’s cracks. While Jasper reminisces, he doesn’t realise the irreplaceable bond that has formed between him and Charlie. In the somewhat cliche of a good-boy befriends rebel plot, something prolific happens: the boys advance each other in ways that young men need.
Their honesty, vulnerability and reliance on one another unfolds in a way most friendships don’t. They’re not afraid to look up to one another, share each other’s heritage, and explore emotions together. The bond, friendship, and emotions that they insight in each other is perfectly described by Silvey: “What I'm feeling, I think, is joy. And it's been some time since I've felt that blinkered rush of happiness, This might be one of those rare events that lasts, one that'll be remembered and recalled as months and years wind and ravel. One of those sweet, significant moments that leaves a footprint in your mind. A photograph couldn't ever tell its story. It's like something you have to live to understand. One of those freak collisions of fizzing meteors and looming celestial bodies and floating debris and one single beautiful red ball that bursts into your life and through your body like an enormous firework. Where things shift into focus for
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a moment, and everything makes sense. And it becomes one of those things inside you, a pearl among sludge, one of those big exaggerated memories you can invoke at any moment to peel away a little layer of how you felt, like a lick of ice cream. The flavor of grace.” One of the themes the novel tackles is Indigenous prejudice in Australia. Rooted deeply in Australia’s society, racism has caused many people to act in irrational, inappropriate, and outlandish ways. Drenched with vivid scenes of racial bashing by police officers, jagged comments made on sports fields, and unnecessary lashes by “do gooding church folk,” Silvey highlights the consistent battery that was (and still is) racism in Australia. The book tells harrowing tales to educate its readers. There is nothing more powerful than an anecdote and Silvey relates these through the characters’ vivid emotions. Fear from the persecuted. Jealousy from the second best. Hatred from the powerful. However, while the struggles are many, the wins are glorious. Silvey highlights that while many small wins may not overturn a lifestyle, they do have a significant impact on those who are often forgotten by the tides of time .This is best illustrated in the ending of the book. Reflecting on the legacy of Jasper Jones and his only desire to be remembered, Charlie finishes his stream of thought with this incumbercing conclusion: “Jasper Jones fell out of this world and nobody noticed... and they'll notice now because something has been burned. Now they'll look for Jasper Jones.”
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A Day to Remember Melba Hurley
Late last year, my friends and family where divided on the Same Sex Marriage Survey. Most wanted same sex lovers to be granted equal marriage rights, while others believed this should not be so. As a lesbian, I have for a long time longed for a wife, children and all the legal rights that the majority of my fellow citizens have within their family units. The survey brought both the best and worst out in people. Some of their reactions left my heart full of joy and pride, while other reactions left me feeling unwanted, undeserving, misunderstood and frustrated. The days leading up to the survey announcement felt like weeks, and the weeks felt like months. The morning had finally arrived. It was November 14th and the fate of my future family, the wedding day I had always dreamt of, and the rights I had longed for were in the hands of all Australians. I hoped and prayed that Australia would see that love is love; I hoped that they would not deny me all the rights that had so easily been granted them, simply because of my sexual orientation. I walked into work wanting to cry, happy tears, scarred tears, nervous tears, whatever the tears where, they wanted to flow down my face. As I walked in, I was overjoyed to see all of my heterosexual co-workers in support of the YES vote, to see them just as eager to hear the announcement as I was. In a small office we huddled and listen to the radio for the announcement… It was a YES! Australians had voted yes! While I was shocked at how high the ‘no’ vote was, the majority had voted YES. My workmates and I all hugged, they ditched me out tissues, cuddles and cheers of support. The support was overwhelming, I felt so lucky to work amongst people who care about the important issues, who care for one another and support each other’s dreams. Words will never explain the vast range of emotions I felt that day. The dreams that could now become reality, or the depth of happiness I felt to be part of a generation that said loudly and proudly YES. As an Indigenous woman, I am well aware of the inequalities and injustices that have plagued Australian history and continue to play an active role in our society today. While this particular step may not directly affect all Indigenous peoples, it gives me hope for my future and the future of all Australians. This decision has changed my life for the better. I know this country still has a long way to go in acknowledging its wrong doings to sectors of its peoples, yet every step in the right direction helps the journey forward and brings hopes to what Australia could be in the future.
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A list of songs by Aboriginal Artists
Notable Indigenous Artists WannabeMusicGuru
Took the Children Away Uncle Archie Roach Uncle Archie is a Gunditjmara man and Aunty Ruby Hunter was a Ngarrindjeri woman. First released in 1989 on their debut record Charcoal Lane, it chronicles the emotions and confusion that were brought up when confronting the issue of the Stolen Generations. The beginning of the song focuses on the history of Aboriginal Missions. The song ends with the children returning to their countries - showcasing a very real, painful, and happy occasion throughout Aboriginal communities. Both Uncle Archie and Aunty Ruby were members of the Stolen Generations. Notable lyrics: “My mother cried go get their dad He came running, fighting mad Mother's tears were falling down Dad shaped up and stood his ground. He said 'You touch my kids and you fight me'” “As we grew up we felt alone Cause we were acting white Yet feeling black” Down City Streets Uncle Archie Roach and Aunty Ruby Hunter (dec.) Featured on Charcoal Lane, the song focuses on the themes of being homeless and the struggles faced by those living on the streets. A compelling and raw song about the pain and feeling of isolation, the track focuses on the struggles of alcohol abuse - however ends on a positive note. Particularly haunting, the song is based on the experiences of Aunty Ruby and Uncle Archie when they were homeless. This is also where they first met.
Notable Lyrics: “Used newspapers to keep me warm, then I'd have to score a drink Calm my nerves, help me to think” “I look around and understand, how street kids feel when they're put down”
Rrurr Walp Papu No B and d The l
My Is Waru
Featu Island home docu Torre also t when The l this s Hom
Bake Yolng and E on co takes
51 / Rabelais Indigenous Blackfella/Whitefella Warumpi Band Rrurrambu was a Yolngu man from Elcho Island. The Butcher brothers are Pitjantjatjara and Walpiri and Murray is an Australian. Warumpi band formed in the remote community of Papunya in the Northern Territory. The track was released on their debut album Big Name No Blankets in 1984. This song discusses reconciliation within Australia and around the world and discusses the state of the world, with environmental changes and the political structures. The lyrics recognise the values of looking after neighbours and working together regardless of differences to accomplish a goal. of differences to accomplish a goal. Notable lyrics: “We need more brothers, if we're to make it We need more sisters, if we're to save it” “All the people, of different races With different lives, in different places It doesn't matter, which religions It's all the same when the, ship is sinking” My Island Home Warumpi Band Featured on the 1986 album Go Bush, “My Island Home” was written about Elcho Island, the home of one of their bands members. This track documents the attachment that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders hold for their country, and also touches on the homesickness that can be felt when one is living away from their own country. The lifestyle of Elcho Island also features heavily in this song. This is the Original Version of My Island Home, before Christine Anu released her version. Marryuna Baker Boy Feat. Yirrmal Baker Boy is one of the newest artists out of Yolngu Country, Arnhem Land. He raps in Yolngu and English. Marryuna is about being back home on country and the activities and learning that he takes place there. Notable lyrics: “Triggers mind blown, survival mode, human brain Greatest weapon in the globe, self-sustain Education knowledge is loaded Standing on everyone’s shoulders Teaching yourself as you get older and older”
Notable lyrics: “Six years I've been in the desert And every night I dream of the sea They say home is where you find it But will this place ever satisfy me For I come from the saltwater people We always lived by the sea Now I'm out here west of Alice Springs With a wife and a family” “I close my eyes and I'm standin' in a boat on the sea again And I'm holding that long turtle spear And I feel I'm close now to where it must be And My Island Home is a waitin' for me”
52 / Rabelais Indigenous Treaty Yothu Yindi Possibly one of the more commonly known Aboriginal Bands is Yothu Yindi, who hail from Yolngu Country in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. “Treaty” was featured on the 1991 album Tribal Voice. This song discusses the state of the invasion in relation to Aboriginal land rights, calling for a treaty to be written between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the Australian Government. The Government’s lack of support for Aboriginal land rights was highlighted in this song which was released a year before the Native Title Decision was handed down by the High Court in 1992, thanks to Eddie Mabo (dec.) Notable Lyrics: “Words are easy, words are cheap Much cheaper than our priceless land But promises can disappear Just like writing in the sand” “This land was never given up This land was never bought and sold The planting of the Union Jack Never changed our law at all” Tribal Voice Yothu Yindi
Notable lyrics: “All the people in the world are dreaming (get up stand up) Tribal Voice is the title song for Yothu Yindi’s Some of us cry for the rights of survival 1991 album. This song focuses on the struggles now (get up stand up) of First Nations people around the world when Say c'mon c'mon, stand up for your rights it comes to keeping in touch with culture whilst While others don't give a damn living in a white-man’s world. This song also They are all waiting for a perfect day discusses the means of survival within this world, You better get up and fight for your rights making its audience aware of the voice their Don't be afraid of the move that you make ancestors. This song is sung in both Yolngu and You better listen to you tribal voice” English. My Island Home Aunty Christine Anu Aunty Christine Anu’s version of “My Island Home” was released in 1995 as the second single on her debut album Stylin’ Up and instantly became an Australian hit and anthem of Aboriginal Australia, particularly Torres Strait Islanders. Aunty Christina, who is a Torres Strait Islander from Saibai Island, changed some of the original lyrics written by Yothu Yindi to reflect life in the city compared to island life and also to gain the point of view of a woman.
Notable lyrics: “For I come from the salt water people We always lived by the sea Now I’m down here living in the city With my man and the family”
My P J-Mil
J-Mil addre white Abor their
Au I’m And
Jimb Territ relea to arm with A that t issue
l er al e
ay ghts make e”
My People J-Milla
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J-Milla is a Marranunggu man from the Northern Territory. J-Milla’s album Straight Up addresses the state of relations between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and white Australians in the aftermath of the murder of Elijah Doughty. It discusses the pain that Aboriginal people feel, when they were actively discriminated against and asked to justify their history, identity and rights to live on their country. Notable lyrics: “Yeah and time goes by, I come to realise my people were always right, But even though that I’m part white, I still cop all the pain and I don’t know why, But talk about land rights, Just look at our flag,
Colours representing everything that we ever had” “I already told ya, I move like a soldier, My army is my family, And nothing can come closer, I got the world sitting on my shoulders, 80’000 bc man my heritage is older, And yes you know it, There’s nothing you can say, Australian land is running through my dna, I’m an aboriginal and yes I’mim proud to this day, And if you aint with it get the f**k out my way” March Jimblah Jimblah is a Larrakia man from the Northern Territory. On his album Phoenix which was released in 2013, the song is a passionate call to arms of all sorts, asking people to march with Aboriginal people, due to the strug gles that they face. The song also touches on the issues of asylum seekers.
Notable lyrics: “What they proud of, when our nation's how it is, we co-exist Yeah I don't think, refugees, sunken ships, we don't want them in? While parents are tryna save their kids Tell me you comprehend that While others are, there too concerned for themselves And couldn't care less about anyone else” “So check it I got a fist full of gold See I went and sold my soul for a price you could never know about” I never chose this path see this path chose me
54 / Rabelais Indigenous January 26 A.B. Original A.B. Originalfeat. feat.Dan DanSultan Sultan
My B Mau
A.B. Original is made up of two rappers Adam Briggs aka Briggs, who is a Yorta Yorta man from Victoria, and Daniel Rankine aka Trials, who is an Ngarrindjeri man from South Australia. Dan Sultan is an Arrernte and Gurindji man from Northern Territory. January 26 is a song that was released on the 2016 album Reclaim Australia. The song documents the history of January 26 and asks why Australia continues to celebrate this day, as it is a painful day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around Australia.
Mau in the and t cultu his id his he
Notable lyrics: “How you wanna raise a flag with a rifle To make us want to celebrate anything but survival? Nah, you watching tele for The Bachelor But wouldn’t read a book about a fuckload of massacres? (what?) I remember all the blood and what carried us (I remember) They remember twenty recipes for lamingtons (yum) Yeah, their ancestors got a boat ride Both mine saw them coming until they both died Fuck celebrating days made of misery (fuck that) White Aus still got the black history (that’s true) And that shirt will get you banned from the Parliament If you ain’t having a conversation, well then we starting it”
Colo Boy” 1 son mont what and f perso
Take Me Home A.B. Original GG (Yunupingu (dec.) A.B. Originalfeat. feat.Dr. Dr. Yunupingu (dec.) “Take Me Home” is the last song on the Reclaim Australia album which discusses the problems that Aboriginal people face such as racism, incarceration and deaths in custody. Explicitly stating the need to change the date, this enables the audience to feel the strong tone and emotion of the track. This song features the late Dr. G. Yunupingu singing in Yolngu, and was featured as the theme song to the TV show Cleverman.
Notable lyrics: “In a blink watch an officer turn into a coroner You ain’t got the balls to walk these corridors Rip the claws in Namorrodor’s jaws “Everything’s getting heavy,” no doubt brother And if things don’t change somebody’s getting buried”
My Blood My People Mau Power
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Mau Power is a member of the Dhoebaw Clan of the Guda Maluilgal nations Thursday Island in the Torres Straits. Focusing on Torres Strait Islanders and the connection to their islands and the sea, the song relates to how their connections date back to their ancestors and their culture. He frequently mentions the island drums and the songs of his people. He discusses his identity and how it is closely connected to the seas. He also reveals how proud he is of his heritage and how he knows his people must remain strong into the future. Notable lyrics: “I was raised with the drums Torres Strait made the sun, The ocean possess my soul and the land made me one, The culture was the song my ancestors sung, Left footprints with the dust on the path I came from, … I’m a warrior” “Child to know who you are you must first know where you come from, And with the sounds of the island drums I will share this with you in my song”
Black Boy Boy – Coloured Stone Black Coloured Stone Coloured Stone formed on the Koonibba Mission, west of Ceduna in South Australia. “Black Boy” was released in 1984 and immediately became a hit. The song became the number 1 song in Fiji, and remained number 1 on the charts in Alice Springs for nine consecutive months. The song tells young black kids to be proud of who they are, and to not worry about what others say about them. The song stipulates that you should stick to your education, and follow the rules, because that is the greatest weapon you will ever be given as a black person within society.
Notable lyrics: “And one day you'll grow up to be a man, To learn and live and understand Sticks and stones may break your bones But names will never hurt you. You'll be the one who's having fun. So you just keep learning on”
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Notable lyrics: “Beautiful and deadly, monster and mother, Stiff Gins is currently comprised of Nardi Simpson Guided by the moon, she’s and Kaleena Briggs. They are both woman from power, New South on Wales. is a derogatory term for an Diamonds the Gin Water I hear her before I see her as I’m Aboriginal Stiff Gins woman, but meant ‘wife’ in the Darug walking to the shore, Language. ‘Stiff’ in the bands title was added to their Standing on the water’s edge like Stiff Gins is attempt currentlyto comprised of word Nardigin Simpson and name in an reclaim the and also a million times before, Kaleena Briggs. Theyasare bothblack women from New to rename the band strong women. TheirSouth Cold and deep is how I see her, Wales. Gin “Diamonds is a derogatory term for anisAboriginal 2010 song on the Water” a worship woman, of Ready to swallow me whole” but meant and ‘wife’ in the Darug language. ‘Stiff’ inits the the ocean how much power it has, gaining band’s title the wassun added to theiroff name an attempt to name from reflections the in water giving the reclaim the word ‘gin,’ and also to rename the band as appearance of diamonds. The song discusses how the strong black women. Their 2010 song “Diamonds on beach and ocean brings people together and how the Water” is a worship ofisthe ocean and how much power it much climate change affecting all water sources. has, gaining its name from the sun reflections off the water giving the appearance of diamonds. The song discusses how the beach and ocean brings people together and how much climate change is affecting all water sources.
Song for Elijah (Wrap Our Arms Around You) Kutcha Edwards, Archie Roach, Emma Donovan, Radical Son, Tjimba Possum Burns, James Henry, Ilanna Atkinson, David Bridie, Nao Anzai and Brendan Gallagher Elijah Doughty was a 14 year old boy who was run over whilst riding a motorbike by a 56 year old white man who was driving a utility truck in 2016. He chased Elijah for 26 seconds, because Elijah was riding a motorbike that had been stolen from him, however it is unclear who stole the motorbike. At the time of the crash, Elijah’s body was thrown 9 feet from the largest piece of the motorbike which had broken apart due to the force of the collision. Elijah suffered from severe injuries including his skull being split in half, brain stem snapped, spinal cord severed, most of his ribs broken, pelvis fractured, and leg and ankle mangled. In 2017 the man who murdered Elijah was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death and was sentenced to three years in prison with time served, and was released in March 2018. The man’s identity has been kept secret, ironically for his own protection. This song was written as a memorial to Elijah, and as an offer to his family, during their grief. Notable lyrics: “Bring justice to the case, For what Elijah faced” “Cover them through the hours, Cover them through the years, Cover them now their babies not there, Take away their tears, The old ones left a message, They want you to know, They’ll wrap their arms around you, Their never letting go”
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Ms Dhu Spinifex Gum feat. Feat.Marliya Marliyaand andFelix FelixRiebl Riebl.
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“Ms Dhu” is a protest song released in 2017. The song was written in memoriam of Ms Dhu, a Yamatji woman who died in custody at the age of 22 years old. She had been locked up in the South Hedland Police Station, Port Hedland W.A, for a series of unpaid fines. After originally suspended in in jail for four days to pay off these fines - the cause of her death was pronounced as Pneumonia and Septicaemia due to a broken rib she had sustained 3 months earlier during a violent altercation with her partner. At the time of her arrest she complained about pain in her ribs and not being able to walk, and was taken to hospital three times two of these occasions the staff assumed she was coming down off drugs, and instead gave her paracetamol. She also faced intense racial abuse by the police officers during this time. The last time she was taken to the hospital, the cops carried her to the paddy wagon, and when they arrived at the hospital they did not take Miss Dhu through the emergency exit, therefore not raising the attention of the triage nurse. Miss Dhu passed away less than an hour after arriving at the hospital. Her death was completely preventable through the use of antibiotics. Felix Riebl was working in W.A. with the Aboriginal women’s choir Marliya when he heard about the tragic death of Miss Dhu. The music video highlights the struggles and clashes with police, and pays respects and remembers those who we have lost in police custody. This song is a passionate and heartbreaking insight to the way that Aboriginal people throughout Australia feel every day. Ms Dhu’s first name is not used for cultural reasons. Notable lyrics: “It’s white prejudice digging black holes Every black death in custody’s a blight on our soul” “Now they’re white washing away evidence Will we ever see a cop locked up for negligence? Will we ever see the rock turned up on ignorance?”
Family Love Yung Warriors Warriors Yung The Yung Warriors are a band from Melbourne, made up of Tjimba Possum Burns and Narjik Day Burns, who are the sons of Selwyn Burns from Coloured Stone. Their song “Family Love” was released on their 2012 album Standing Strong. This song discusses the complex and deep connections that everyone has to their families, particularly in the Aboriginal community.
Notable lyrics: “We came from a family of kinship values, Obtained all the wisdom that our elders taught us, Our song lines go on for ever and ever, And our family tree will always remember”
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Community Sector and understanding more about the multitude of career pathways
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Market Day & Harmony Day Celebrations 2018 Albury Wodonga
Harmony Day was celebrated at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus on 22nd March held in conjunction with the annual Market Day. The MC for the opening of the event was Rev Judy Redman, Ecumenical Chaplaincy Co-ordinator, La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga Campus. Acknowledgement of Country to open Harmony Day was conducted by Kevin Whyman, Indigenous Student Services Officer, and was followed by Aboriginal dancers, Keirren Parkes and Benji Davidson, performing the Welcome Dance. Other indigenous features of the day included - Bush Tucker - barbeque cooked kangaroo steak and kangaroo rissoles. Followed by a Witchetty Grub design cake. All very well received by students and staff â€“ some even tasting kangaroo for the first time! A massive thank you to the two indigenous students Kiley Walkerden and Emily Edwards for their contribution for the day, including setting up, cooking and contributing their time to the event for the Wodda Gyla Unit. Lining the University Walkway, Market Day
saw 34 stall holders from across La Trobe and the local community promoting their services to students. Always well received, this year again saw well over 100 students engaging with the stall holders and accepting promotional materials and useful information along the way. Highlights were the Bhutanese Dancers, African Drummers and LARPERs with their medieval dress and sword fighting as well as the Easter Raffle, music and a traditional sausage sizzle to complement the incredibly popular Bush Tucker!
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RABEL-Gamez Trivia 1. 2. 3. 4.
Who was the first Aboriginal woman to be elected into parliament? Who is La Trobe University’s current Elder? How many Indigenous nations make up the Kulin Nations? What is the name of La Trobe Student Union Indigenous Student representative for 2018? 5. Who are the traditional owners of the land on which La Trobe University Bundoora is situated? 6. Who are the traditional owners of the land on which La Trobe University Shepparton is situated? 7. Who are the traditional owners of the land on which La Trobe University Bendigo is situated? 8. Who are the traditional owners of the land on which La Trobe University AlburyWodonga is situated? 9. Who are the traditional owners of the land on which La Trobe University Mildura is situated? 10. In what year was the referendum held which gave Indigenous Australians the right to be counted in a census and improved the services available to Indigenous Australians? 11. From what island was the late Eddie Mabo born on? 12. What do the colors of the Aboriginal flag represent? 13. What do the colors of the Torres Strait Island flag Represent? 14. Who wrote the song titled: “Took the Children Away,” released in 1990? 15. Who was the first Indigenous representative appointed to the University council? 16. In 2016, how many Indigenous students enrolled to La Trobe University? 17. In what year did Karen Nicholls graduate with a Diploma of Primary Teaching, being the first Indigenous woman to graduate from La Trobe University? 18. In what year did Ngarn-gi Bagora officially open? 19. What does Wominjenka mean when translated to English? 20. On what day is Sorry Day commemorated?
Solutions 8. Dhudhuora 1. Lidia Thorpe 9. Latje Latje 2. Aunty Joy Murphy 10. 1967 3. Five 11. Mer/Maurry Island 4. The wonderful Christopher 12. Yellow = sun, black = night sky & Lyndon-George Saunders people, red = earth and blood 5. Wurundjeri 13. Green = land, blue = water/ 6. Yorta Yorta ocean, black stripes = people, white 7. Dja Dja Wurrung = stars/peace
14. Archie Roach 15. Gaye Sculthorpe 16. 226 17. 1979 18. 2001 19. Welcome 20. May 26th
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Supervised Gym 8am-12pm Preston Gym
12.15pm—12.45pm Preston Gym
12.45pm—1.30pm Preston Gym
VAHS Healthy Lifestyle Team Gym Timetable
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16th of April — 29th of June 2018 VAHS Gym is located at 238-250 Plenty Rd, Preston 3072
Thursday Bootcamp Blast
7.45 am—8.30 am
Friday Boxing Blast 7.45am—8.30am Preston Gym
Two locations every weekend:
Lalor parkrun Public Gardens 158 Barry Rd, Lalor
Darebin parkrun C.T Barling Reserve Plenty Rd, Reservoir
To Register: www.parkrun.com.au/ register
Aqua Moves 7.15pm– 8pm Reservoir Leisure Centre 2A Cuthbert Rd Reservoir
Join the ‘Aboriginal Healthy Lifestyle Team’ when you sign up!
1C Browning Street Kingsbury
Class Description Group Workout/ Bootcamp Blast: A mix of cardio, weights, and fun for all fitness levels and ages. Boxing Blast: Boxing fitness fun for all ages & stages of fitness. Boxing Fusion: A mix of cardio, strength exercises, and boxing. Strength Class: Weights based training for all fitness levels. Relaxation Yoga: Gentle yoga for all fitness levels.
Strong Sisters: A women only gym session with supervision provided for children. Gentle Gym: A closed gym session for Community Program’s gentle exercise for Elders. For more information contact Community Programs on 9419 3000.
03 9403 3346
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RECONCILIATION WEEK 2018
TUE 10:30AM-11:30AM 12:00PM-2:00PM
29 MAY MORNING TEA
GLENN COLLEGE AD107
FREE LTSU BBQ W/ TRADITIONAL FOOD AND LIVE PERFORMANCES AGORA FLOOR
30 MAY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY DAY TOUR
REGISTER ON THE LTSU WEBSITE
31 MAY MOVIE NIGHT SAMSON AND DELILAH ELT 6
The La Trobe Student Union acknowledges the traditional owners of the lands on which the La Trobe University campuses are situated - the Wurundjeri, Latje Latje, Dja Dja Wurrung, Dhudhuora, and Yorta Yorta peoples.
Wednesday at Simpson Lawn
y the Sports Centre by the LTSU yprovided the Sports Centre
ort activities provided by the Sports Centre
2/7/18 11:49 AM 2/7/18 11:49 AM
2/7/18 11:49 AM
Celebrating historic, current and emerging Indigenous leaders and perspectives at La Trobe University.