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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.

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You – yes, you – can help stop the spread of HIV in Indigenous communities

This week I am honoured and excited to be hosting @IndigenousX during Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week next week.

My sexual health education was limited. I recall learning about puberty and anatomy at school. I also recall learning how to put a condom on with those plastic banana demonstrations. I’m sure you all know the ones!

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I love working as a mentor. It can change lives and communities

I grew up in Cootamundra where a local icon, the Cootamundra Girls Home, sat on top of the hill overlooking the small township. Although it was a constant presence in the life of anyone who grew up there, I never did quite understand the impact or significance of it until later on, even though my grandmother was forced to spend her childhood there, the childhood that should have been filled with fun, learning and culture.

These are the years that I cherish now in bringing up my own three kids as I try to guide them through the blended colours of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal culture. My father never spoke about it, neither did his mother. His identity and culture was lost.

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Charles Prouse IndigenousX Host

The next generation of Indigenous leaders shows great promise for Australia’s future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have some of the most charismatic and intellectually accomplished leaders in Australia and indeed the world.