My name is Kelly. I am a Gamilaroi woman from Northern NSW. I have two wonderful baby boys. At the moment I’m mainly involved in social commentary, and I write the odd article here and there, either on my blog or in various Australian publications.
I plan on engaging with people around Indigenous current affairs and I also want to talk about the racism that exists in this country on a systemic and institutional level. I want to share my own experiences as an Aboriginal woman living and raising a family in a small rural NSW community, and I hope others will share their stories with me. Sharing experiences and seeking to understand each other better is important if we are to build better relationships for all of us. Also, any TV show I happen to be watching, movies I’m seeing and books I’m loving or hating will get air time. A bit of a mixed bag, perfect for my ever dwindling attention span.
Right now it is Tiga Bayles, for fighting for Indigenous media and never giving up. And after seeing and hearing him speak recently at the Australian Indigenous Communications Association “Digital & Deadly” conference, his integrity and passion is awe inspiring. He is incredibly successful in his broadcasting career but is very grounded, community oriented and driven. Until this week, I was unaware of the battle it took to get Indigenous media for Indigenous people created and disseminated by Indigenous people.
And then there’s Wayne Wharton, for his “accept no bullshit” approach to Indigenous affairs. His lack of fear in asking questions and calling out exploitation with integrity and decency is something I aspire to. He also heads the Brisbane Sovereignty Movement, which is a movement that aligns very closely with my personal ideals. It is a true grassroots movement that is community-oriented and aimed at strengthening First Nations in Australia.
My biggest role model, though, has always been my elder brother Ronald. He introduced me to books and reading. The first book of feminist theory I ever read was Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch, which I’m pretty sure was left on our bookshelf at home by him on one of his university holidays. He also got me interested in cultural heritage via his work. His passion and enthusiasm for the preservation and strengthening of culture through conserving our nations’ Indigenous history inspired me to pursue my own career in Indigenous spaces within libraries.
My passion is feminism – specifically, black feminism. Sexism, racism and classism are very tightly interwoven in our social fabric. To believe that all women everywhere experience oppression evenly is an entire mountain of bullshit. Feminism that doesn’t take race, financial status and a myriad of other factors into consideration is detrimental to reaching true equality. The feminist conversation in Australia is stagnant and operates from a framework that is actively exclusive to women of colour (and I would go so far as to say people of colour). The feminist topic of “women on company boards” is particularly repugnant, as it assumes that all women are now in positions wherein the main obstacle they’re facing is to advance their careers. It completely ignores the fact that systemic and institutional racism in this country still plays such an enormous role in people’s lives, and that even obtaining a job is a battle within itself, let alone being on a board.
Right now, it’s to become financially stable. I want to eventually write a book (current title: Fuck Your Feminism, Lady) and I want my family to be healthy and happy. I also hope for a future where we will be able to talk more honestly and openly about the realities of sexism, racism, and all forms of oppression and discrimination, not through a reactionary lens, but more from a progressive agenda-setting starting point.
Also, more time for video games, there’s never enough time for video games.