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Joel Bayliss. I consider myself lucky to learn about my culture. Too many Aboriginal people missed out

My name is Joel Bayliss and I’m an Aboriginal man. My cultural ties stretch from Borroloola in the Top End, to the Arrernte lands of the central desert of the Northern Territory. I am a proud husband to Hilda, doting dad to to Ava and Isaiah.

The word identity means different things to different people. I identify as a husband, a father, a Crows and Glenelg supporter, a member of a political party and as stated before, an Aboriginal man.




Here we go again: Bill Leak isn’t racist, according to Bill Leak.

With the possible exception of members of overt White Supremacist groups it is rare to find anyone who proudly, or even reluctantly, admits they are racist or have committed an act of racism.

Andrew Bolt, according to himself, was actually defending ‘real Aborigines’ when he racially vilified a group of Indigenous people.




Let’s Recognise More Conservative White Men

If there was one thing we needed more of in the discussion on Constitutional Recognition for Indigenous people, it was the centring of the voices of wealthy, conservative white men. The entire discussion on CR has been missing the voices of conservative white men and what they think on a topic which is going to have very little impact on their lives. And no conservative white male voice has been sidelined more on this topic than that of Andrew Bolt. What with his regular News Limited column, his blog, his TV show and his radio appearances, poor Andrew has been struggling for space to elucidate why he thinks Indigenous recognition would be racist. Therefore, I think it’s wonderful that the ABC have sought to rectify this travesty, and have engaged Bolt on their documentary series I Can Change Your Mind About Recognition and give him the platform he’s truly been lacking.




Government not on track to meet Closing the Gap targets because of course they aren’t.

A Productivity Commission has found that the government will probably not meet 5 of the 6 Closing the Gap targets, leaving many astounded to hear that they might actually achieve one of them.

(It should be noted at the outset that the government’s ‘Closing the Gap’ is not the same as ‘Close the Gap’, which is a coalition of Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and community organisations.)




An Open Letter to a Teacher from an Aboriginal Parent, 1977

(Adapted from an open letter, from a parent to a teacher published in the Native Perspective July – August 1977)

Dear Sir/Madam

Before you take charge of the classroom that contains my child, please ask yourself why you are going to teach Aboriginal children.




Are White Student Unions At Universities Really Such A Bad Idea?

Yes. They really are a bad idea. (I could pretty much end it there, but that probably doesn’t make for a very interesting post though, so I’ll go on a bit of a rant as well and see where it takes us…)

In fairness, not as bad an idea as the NT Intervention, or trying to implement religious tests for refugees, or cutting over half a billion dollars from Indigenous Affairs, and not even as bad an idea as giving Bolt his own tv show, but still… it’s a pretty bad idea.




What is the cost of being ‘Australian’?

The past week has seen a continuation and an escalation of terror. Attacks of terror and counter-attacks of terror have hit numerous countries, leaving hundreds dead, thousands of friends and family members in mourning, and many around the world feeling lost, fearful, hurt, confused, and looking for something, anything, to ‘do’ in response to all of it.




Why We Will Never Find The ‘Most Appropriate’ Term To Refer To All Indigenous Australians.

Finding the ‘most appropriate’ term to refer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples/Indigenous Australians/First Australians/First Peoples/First Nations etc is like the Holy Grail of stuff that seems like it would be way easier than it actually is to resolve. Sadly though, it is a conversation that will never go away, and is also one that will probably never be entirely resolved.

A big part of the problem stems from the refusal to accept and use the hundreds of original names that exist, eg Wiradjuri, Noongar, Gamilaroi, etc, and even that often has the issue of agreed upon English spelling of these words. This also doesn’t solve the desire to refer to all groups under a single banner, even though we never had one ourselves.