Founded in 2012
Like all good things, @IndigenousX was born out of a great idea.
Back in early 2012, the national dialogue was characterised by a consistent lack of awareness, understanding and respect for Indigenous people.
Our vision was to create a platform for Indigenous people to share their knowledge, opinions and experiences with a wide audience of interested tweeps.
The @IndigenousX twitter account was launched on the 15th of March 2012. Since then it has risen to more than 28,000 followers, and over 250 Indigenous hosts on the account have shared thousands of stories, facts, reports, pictures, and laughs with an ever increasing audience. We pride ourselves on an ethic of respect for Indigenous knowledge, successfully providing an autonomous news service.
We’ve had actors, activists, authors, academics, politicians, teachers, doctors, uni students, and countless others around the country who have given their time to share their stories, experiences and perspectives.
At @IndigenousX we actively challenge stereotypes of the Indigenous community. Utilizing the opportunities of the emerging digital ecosystem, our hosts become publishers, distributors and creators of news and information.
@IndigenousX has raised awareness of countless issues, programs, stories, perspectives and organisations, amongst a myriad of other insights.
Most importantly, it has provided an online meeting place for thousands of tweeps nationally and internationally, to share the adventures of a new Indigenous host each and every week.
Who We Are
Luke Pearson – Founder
Luke Pearson is a Gamilaroi man, who founded @IndigenousX in 2012.
Luke left his professional career as a primary school teacher in 2008, but continued to take an interest in education and advocacy both professionally and voluntarily. Throughout his various involvements Luke has been a teacher, mentor, counsellor, public speaker, collaborator, mediator, facilitator, events manager, researcher, evaluator, reporter and much more.
Somewhere along the line he started a Twitter account…His engaging content and manner was well received by tweeps, and in 2012, Luke gifted away the 5000 followers he had amassed, and created the @IndigenousX account.
The idea of the account was to share and enhance the platform he had created by providing an opportunity for 52 other Indigenous people per year to share their knowledge, opinions and experiences.
Liam Ridgeway – Collaborator
Liam Ridgeway is a descendant of the Gumbaynggirr people of the North Coast of NSW and grew up in Sydney’s Eora Country.
From 2007 to 2012 Liam worked in business to business Sales and Marketing at Microsoft and Trend Micro. At Microsoft he won the Circle of Excellence award for being in the top 10% of Microsoft performers worldwide.
He is co-founder of Ngakkan Nyaagu – a one hundred percent Aboriginal owned company committed to assisting organisations and individuals to control their digital presence.
He has a passion to increase Indigenous participation in the digital economy and create a collaborative and sustainable Indigenous IT community.
John Saulo – Collaborator
John Saulo is a proud descendant of the Wergaia, Wemba Wemba & Gunditjmara people of Western Victoria and the Mongomuna clan of New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea.
John has over fifteen years experience in the retail industry and has operated his own businesses for the past ten years.
Along with Liam, John is co-founder of Ngakkan Nyaagu. The company is focused on building an Indigenous Digital Economy – the presence of a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community that is engaged in technology development and design.
John is eager to see an increase in Aboriginal owned businesses servicing our communities, securing government contracts and growing wealth for our people.
Liam & John are responsible for hosting the @IndigenousX website
Jade Towney – Collaborator
Jade Towney is a Wiradjuri/Gumbaynggirr women, a loving mother of three children, and has extensive experience working with independent Indigenous online media. She is also Luke’s partner, and provides significant support to IndigenousX, helping out with any and all aspects of the day to day machinations of the account and acting as a trusted and respected advisor.
Our partnership with the Guardian Australia has let us share stories from our hosts with an even wider audience around the country and overseas.
Each week, the site presents an online profile and Q&A with the latest host. This allows the hosts to give readers a taster of the week to come and has helped to raise the profile and impact of the account.
Through this partnership, we have helped bring more Indigenous voices and different types of story into the mainstream media.
Our partnership with StartSomeGood has helped raise over $400,000 for Indigenous projects!
We have been involved with projects such as the Elders Report into Aboriginal Self Harm and Youth Suicide, Black Rainbow, a Gamilaraay language card game, the Jimmy Little Foundation, a fundraiser helping Aboriginal teenage mothers finish school, the Darwin Art fair and IndigenousX.
We are always on the look out for other worthwhile projects too, so if you have a crowdfunding idea, please get in touch with us!
Photo by Matt Jones
@IndigenousX uses the alternative media space and unique characteristics of the Internet to renegotiate the representation of Indigenous voices. The growing success of @IndigenousX is testament to the new opportunities for participation and innovation afforded by social media and mobile technologies. The power is in the hands of our community.
Many scholars have used @IndigenousX as a case study to argue that with the rise of new technology, Indigenous Australians have created what is arguably one of the largest and most distinctive media subcultures in Australia.
One of our proudest achievements is our partnership with The Guardian – a revered and global mainstream news outlet. Each week, the news site presents an online profile of the @IndigenousX host.
While previous Indigenous media initiatives were unheard, we have grabbed the attention of key democratic institutions and decision-makers, who are becoming increasingly engaged with the proliferation of Indigenous voices enabled by participatory media.
Further, IndigenousX has raised over $400,000 to date for various projects, beginning at the end of 2013 with an impromptu week long fundraiser for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation over the Xmas/New Year period. This spontaneous and unexpectedly successful campaign managed to raise more than $10,000 and increased the IndigenousX followers to over 10,000 in a single week.
This achievement eventually led to a partnership with the crowd sourcing platform, Start Some Good, where a further $400,000+ has since been raised.
Some have even said that @IndigenousX is testament to the potential of Indigenous participatory media to reconfigure the political communication system.
For a summary of all the incredible things we’ve been a part of over the years, check out our ‘Happy 4th Birthday article‘
Publications mentioning @IndigenousX
While we’ve tried our best to include all the publications we could find, this isn’t a comprehensive list. If you’ve created something that mentions us and isn’t here, feel free to get in touch and we’ll add your work to this list.
We are humbled to have received such positive feedback from the community over the years!
“IndigenousX has been a revolution in all things Indig and communication. It has given a whole new meaning to the Indig grapevine and our ability to communicate across communities in an instant and with more of our mob .. this is critical in a fast changing world where we need information quicker and respond to the changes as we see them for our families and communities. A big CONGRATS IndigX .. it’s a great milestone!” Aden Ridgeway
“I’m always impressed by the national connectivity that IndigenousX delivers – it gives all of us a megaphone for our ideas and views. Whether its a reaction or an initiative IndigenousX gives us a better handle on the views of other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around the country.” Chris Bourke – ACT Minister and former @IndigenousX host.
“My favourite thing about IndigenousX is that it is such a great platform for community ambassadors to have a say and to actually be heard. It’s a connector of voices and an asset in the modern world of communication today.” Zoe Betar – IDX
“IndigenousX gives me hope that we can raise awareness of Indigenous rights and change prejudices towards our people over time. Luke’s piece on the ABC’s usage and Macquarie Dictionary definition of the derogatory term “boong” is a great example. The fact that Macquarie Dictionary changed the definition of that term in response shows the power of IndigenousX.
More than that, IndigenousX is a community. It celebrates the hard and often unrecognised work of many Indigenous people. I think that our voices are stronger together, and IndigenousX gives us a platform to be bold, be loud and be heard.” Roxy Moore, Lawyer, and campaigner with Amnesty Australia.
For IndigenousX to be given the time and attention it requires, and to bring along the necessarily people who can help make it even more special than it already is, it is going to require a lot of time and effort, and a lot of exciting new hosts, beloved old friends, generous supporters and innovative collaborators.
If you think you, your business, or your community group can fill any of these roles, please send Luke an email at email@example.com
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of the IndigenousX community so far, and look out for some amazing new IndigenousX projects coming soon.