Five Questions with Kylie Sambo

Kylie Sambo was Indigenous X host from June 13 to June 20, 2014.

Five questions to Kylie

My name is Kylie Sambo. My people are the Warlmanpa and Warumungu and I live in Tennant Creek. We have strong culture that we still practice, with ceremonies every year. I am a hip-hop artist. The main focus in my music are the struggles that I see happening and that I have experienced. I am also an activist on behalf of my people – I have a gift to help people who are unable to speak up for themselves.
My main focus will be keeping everyone updated about a current federal court case that is taking place in Tennant Creek. My family is challenging an attempt to dump nuclear waste on our land. We have been fighting against this dump for seven years now. We weren’t properly consulted about it. The government and Northern Land Council (NLC) have been pushing hard for it, even though it’s not their land. They just haven’t been listening. We are afraid that a nuclear waste dump will mean we lose our rights to go onto our country, visit our sites, hunt and collect. We are also worried it will poison that land.

I’ll also be talking about the way the police mistreat us here in Tennant Creek – trying to control us and keep us down. One other issue I want to talk about is income management, and the BasicsCard that came in with the Intervention. We should be entitled to manage our own money, instead of the Centrelink telling us what to do.

My first role model is my uncle, who was also fighting against the waste dump. This is the reason why I joined the campaign. Secondly, my sister Dianne Stokes. I’ve learned nearly everything for her, making me the woman that I am today. She always speaks the truth, making her statements so strongly and she never backs down. She has been traveling around the country speaking up against the nuclear waste dump, and I’ve accompanied her on many trips.

One of my music role models is Tupac. If you take away all the swearing, he is really political. His music is telling the truth, letting people know about his struggles. He is the one who inspired me to be a rapper.

I want people to know that we may be from a remote area, we may have poor education, but we are here standing up for what we believe in – which is our culture, our land and our future generations. We will not let them bully us in our own country.
On paper, it says everyone is Australia is supposed to be equal, but there is dirty business going on under the table here that means as Aboriginal people, we are not equal at all. We still suffer racism, discrimination, things like this nuclear waste dump and income management. Then there are the small things that happen day to day, when you step back and look at it, you can see that we are so far from equal in our own country. This is our land. For the future I want us to be able to live as equals in our own land.

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