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Sharon Davis. As an Aboriginal woman, I’ve learned education is essential to our freedom

I am from both the Bardi and Gija peoples of the Kimberley. My mother, her mother, and all my mothers before her were Aboriginal women. I am the product of past polices and practices, but also of love and reconciliation.

I grew up all over Australia. My family never really settled and looking back, I think it was the pull between black and white, between my mother’s country in the Kimberley and my Gudiya (non-Aboriginal) father’s place in the Blue Mountains that replicated my own inner turmoil in understanding Aboriginality.

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Pekeri Ruska. On this Invasion Day, I am angry. Australia has a long way to go

I am an Aboriginal women, born in 1987 into a staunch family who were ready to teach me and my siblings the truth from birth. They had walked the walk and had earned their right to talk the talk, to educate. But before I had even left my mother’s womb, I was a statistic, another Aboriginal person to be counted on the census to add to the 3% or so of other Aboriginal people that made up our population in 1987 on a continent where only 199 years prior to my birth, we made up 100% of it. By 1900, it was estimated that the Aboriginal population had decreased by 87%.

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Chris Bourke. This year, let’s ditch the Queen’s Birthday holiday and replace it with Mabo Day

Last June, the Queen’s Birthday public holiday passed by with very little fanfare. The Queen’s Birthday Honours were announced, and a small number of formal government events were hosted. But by and large, the meaning of the day has largely lost its significance among the public, becoming simply about getting the day off work. While we all enjoy the day off, the day could become far more symbolic of our national history.

This day commemorating of the Queen’s official birthday has little significance in the lives of the vast majority of Australians. It is a hangover from Australia’s colonial past. Last year my main emotion, along with many other Canberrans, was a sense of relief that Tony Abbott didn’t award another one of his infamous knighthoods.

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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.