Nathan Bird was Indigenous X host from February 3 to February 12.
Five questions to Nathan Bird
I’m a full-time rapper and part-time support worker for Link-Up Victoria, currently residing in Melbourne. When I’m not rapping or writing music, which is seldom, I do my best to support members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community across Victoria who are wanting to share their story with the current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Music is my number one passion in life. I’ve had dreams of being a rap star ever since first hearing Ice Cube and NWA’s “F@!$ the Police.” I’m currently working on my debut album, which will be released in the second half of 2015.
Also, when I first started studying at the University of Queensland I was lucky enough to be taught by respected elder and leader in the Brisbane Murri community, Uncle Sam Watson, who I still consider a mentor, friend and someone I look up to. My cousin, Fred “Bulanyi” Leone of Impossible Odds records for all that he’s achieved and for being so active in the revitalisation of Badtjala culture – guess you could say he’s like my big brother.
I believe education is crucial to creating a greater understanding and will not only support the betterment of Indigenous peoples but also help move Australia forward. The knowledge is there waiting, you just have to want to find it. Ask the right questions and don’t always rely on Aboriginal people to hold your hand through it. Education doesn’t have to come from a textbook or a classroom setting either, there is so much to learn from Indigenous knowledge and the different modes of teaching within them. All Australians have a role to play in learning the truth about what’s been happening since 1788 and the sooner we genuinely and respectively engage in this process the better off we’ll all be.
I also hope to see the rise of more Indigenous owned and run businesses generating our own financial and social capital. I believe that we’ll see more Indigenous artists (of all media and genres) stepping up and taking their place in the forefront, utilising their position to empower themselves and community. Land Rights – REAL Land Rights – not Native Title.