Happy 4th Birthday @IndigenousX
Four years ago, on the 15th March 2012, we launched the @IndigenousX twitter account. Every week since then we have had an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person take control of the account for a week to say pretty much whatever they want to say. We have had actors, activists, artists, authors, academics, politicians, teachers, doctors, uni students, and countless others around the country who have given their time to share their stories, experiences and perspectives – it hasn’t always been easy, but it has definitely been worth it.
It isn’t often that we get to stop and take stock of what we have achieved, so i thought I’d ask some friends to help us do some stocktaking of the past 4 years:
— Dameyon Bonson (@DameyonBonson) 13 March 2016
— else franks (@elsefranks12) 13 March 2016
— Sandra Phillips (@DrSRP1) 13 March 2016
“IndigenousX has been a revolution in all things Indig and communication. It has given a whole new meaning to the Indig grapevine and our ability to communicate across communities in an instant and with more of our mob .. this is critical in a fast changing world where we need information quicker and respond to the changes as we see them for our families and communities. A big CONGRATS IndigX .. it’s a great milestone!” Aden Ridgeway
“I’m always impressed by the national connectivity that IndigenousX delivers – it gives all of us a megaphone for our ideas and views. Whether its a reaction or an initiative IndigenousX gives us a better handle on the views of other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around the country.” Chris Bourke – ACT Minister and former @IndigenousX host.
“My favourite thing about IndigenousX is that it is such a great platform for community ambassadors to have a say and to actually be heard. It’s a connector of voices and an asset in the modern world of communication today.” Zoe Betar – IDX
It’s easy to overlook the basics, but simply keeping this account running for four years has been a huge amount of work online and off, for myself, too many friends to mention, and over 200 hosted weeks of people sharing their thoughts and feelings with us.
— Pearson In The Wind (@LukeLPearson) 7 January 2016
Through this we have helped carve out a place for indigenous voices on Twitter that extends well beyond our account and helps to stake our claim and amplify our presence online.
@IndigenousX your recognise survey for sure!
— Danny Teece-Johnson (@dannynitv) 13 March 2016
– Our survey on Constitutional Recognition, which was also our very first article on this site, helped us show that there were a lot of people at the time who were not happy with how the campaign was progressing and the perception that an overwhelming majority of Aboriginal people would vote Yes in a a referendum without knowing what the wording of the referendum would actually be.
– That survey also got us mentioned in Hansard, which is another pretty cool achievement in its own right.
“IndigenousX gives me hope that we can raise awareness of Indigenous rights and change prejudices towards our people over time. Luke’s piece on the ABC’s usage and Macquarie Dictionary definition of the derogatory term “boong” is a great example. The fact that Macquarie Dictionary changed the definition of that term in response shows the power of IndigenousX.
More than that, IndigenousX is a community. It celebrates the hard and often unrecognised work of many Indigenous people. I think that our voices are stronger together, and IndigenousX gives us a platform to be bold, be loud and be heard.
Happy Birthday IndigenousX!” Roxy Moore, Lawyer, and campaigner with Amnesty Australia.
– We got Macquarie Dictionary to change their definition of ‘boong’ and remove the part that claimed it was acceptable language in Aboriginal English. I actually think the entire word is so outdated that it could probably be removed altogether from our dictionaries in the same way that most dictionaries no longer have the word ‘hootenanny’, but I was a bit preoccupied at the time.
@IndigenousXLtd We now feel the use of the word in Aboriginal English has also become entirely derogatory & will adjust the entry (2/2)
— Macquarie Dictionary (@MacqDictionary) 26 October 2015
Not everyday that you get a dictionary to change a definition!
– We got name dropped in this awesome rhyme from Birdz!
My thoughts on Invasion Day aka "Australia day". While we have a lot to be proud of, we still have a long way to go… Lest We Forget✊#Birdz #BadApplesMusic #AustraliaDay #InvasionDay #SurvivalDay #changethedate
Posted by Birdz on Monday, January 25, 2016
– Celebrity Shoutouts!
When we were doing our crowdfunder for IndigenousX we were lucky enough to have a bunch of awesome celebs make some short videos for us:
– Connecting 1000s of Indigenous peoples together, and sharing the journey with countless non-Indigenous peeps along the way.
— Sandra Phillips (@DrSRP1) 13 March 2016
“I work from home, and Indigenousx is an absolute blessing. It is my avenue for knowing each day what is happening in our Indigenous world – the good, the bad and the ugly. Posts lead me in other directions and always give me something to think about. May it continue.” Dr Kaye Price – Indigenous educator
“IndigenousX has opened the eyes, hearts and minds of Australia, and the world. Its strength comes from allowing so many voices with different perspectives to be heard. The platform offers a multitude of narratives to help us all hear stories that matter, confront, engage, and make us stop to see the bigger picture. Thank you for being one of the best things about the Internet” Sunili Govinnage – Human Rights Lawyer extraordinaire, writer, and long time ally of @IndigenousX.
“Everyday IndigenousX inspires me, educates me and opens a world of wisdom and knowledge that’s 60,000 years in the making. I feel lucky that there’s such a space that
amplifies First Nations voices and teaches me what the media ignores often, the truth from those living the experience first hand” Kon Karapanagiotidis – Founder & CEO @ASRC1
“@IndigenousX is one of the most important innovations in public debate in Australia, as well as having global impact. It has enriched conversations and connections in the Twittersphere and beyond. It is fantastic to hear direct from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around the country and to have the opportunity, as a non-Indigenous person, to listen, to learn and to tweet together. Warmest thanks to Luke and to everyone who has tweeted for @IndigenousX (and to all those @IndigenousX tweeps still yet to come…) Happy birthday! if this is what you’ve managed in four years, I look forward to seeing what is accomplished in the years to come.” Melissa Sweet – Founder of @CroakeyNews & @WePublicHealth
– That reminds me, IndigenousX inspired the creation of many of the other rotation curation accounts in Australia, as we were the second such account on Twitter. Accounts like @edutweetoz & @Wepublichealth acknowledge us as their inspiration, which all kinds of nice 🙂
— Dr Anita Heiss (@AnitaHeiss) 13 March 2016
‘Being the host of @IndigenousX was an inspiring week in a long year. A long lifetime. As host, each individual brings a passion for their chosen field, for their community, for the issues they want to be showcased, engaged with and talked about. My time driving the account allowed me to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authored books across genres. I reached a range of audiences, brought more educators and general readers to the account, and also managed to see over $10k raised for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation thanks to a genius strategy by #IndigenousX owner Luke Pearson. Happy 4th Birthday, can’t wait to see what the next 40 bring!” Dr Anita Heiss – author
– That time we got IndigenousX to 10,000 followers and raised over $10,000 for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation in a single week.
“The stand out memory for me was awhile back when IX was pushing for 10,000 followers by midnight on a particular day. Reached the target just prior to the deadline. It was like a Twitter storm.” Richard Weston – CEO, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation
We are thrilled about the activity here thanks to the @IndigenousX fundraising to support getting books into remote communities. Thank you!
— ILF (@IndigenousLF) 30 December 2012
– Our partnership with the Guardian Australia that has let us share stories from our hosts with an even wider audience around the country and overseas.
Through this partnership, but also in other media spaces as well, we have helped to bring more Indigenous voices and different types of story into mainstream media.
— Azza Nagas (@azzanagas7) 13 March 2016
– Our sister account in Canada, @IndigenousXca.
@IndigenousX caught our eye a few months ago and got us thinking it would be great do try this out in Canada! We’ll be launching soon!
— Dale Turner (@IndigenousXca) 21 September 2014
– A peer reviewed paper published on IndigenousX.
“@IndigenousX: A case study of community-led innovation in digital media” by Pat Dudgeon, Mel Sweet, and myself.
– All the #Hashtags
#IndigenousX is an impressive hashtag in its own rights, with people using it all day every day to share important news, stories and opinions on all things Indigenous, but we have been a part of plenty of other awesome hashtags along the way too from #TeamMabo, to #Itriedtobeauthenticbut, #IHMayDay, #Racistlikeafox, #IndigenousXto10K, #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA, and #HelloIndigenousX just to name a few.
“Indigenous X is a vital resource. Seeing people who are so often made invisible by our society given a platform is powerful. I think Indigenous X shows how powerful grassroots movements can be. One of my favourite moments of the four years was last years crowdfunding campaign. It just proved how powerful community can be. And that’s what I think when I hear IndigenousX, community.” Ahmed Yussuf, Journalist
Projects like the Elders Report into Aboriginal Self Harm and Youth Suicide, Black Rainbow, a Gamilaraay language card game, the Jimmy Little Foundation, the Darwin Art fair and IndigenousX. We have our latest campaign, a fundraiser helping Aboriginal teenage mothers finish school, live right now and we are always on the look out for other worthwhile projects too. I’d like to see IndigenousX become the dominant place for Indigenous crowdfunding campaigns within the next year or so.
We’ve also helped out with a heap of campaigns outside of this partnership, because it’s not just about the people who run campaigns with us, it’s just about helping people do cool stuff, whoever and wherever we can.
@LukeLPearson helped fund me to study in London 2012. Look at me now! Haha
— Don Bemrose (@OperaDon) 13 March 2016
“When #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA came into being, #IndigenousX was there, ready to support us. Thank you for standing in unity. We are all in this together.” – Sam Cook from @SOSBLAKAUST
— Azza Nagas (@azzanagas7) 13 March 2016
– When one of our hosts, Aaron Nagas, helped get those ‘Established 1788’ shirts taken off the shelves in Aldi & Big W.
IndigenousX has developed a bit of a reputation since then of being a go to for racist items on shelves, and even though we haven’t been able to get them all taken down, we have been able to help out with quite a few.
And FYI, most of them take a fair bit more time and effort than this one, but credit to B&L for responding so quick.
— Pearson In The Wind (@LukeLPearson) 19 December 2015
Hi @LukeLPearson We are sorry for causing offence – I can confirm that these t-shirts have already been removed from online and in our…
— Best & Less (@bestandless) 20 December 2015
@LukeLPearson catalogue and we are in the process of recalling them in all stores. Thanks for getting in contact and sorry once again
— Best & Less (@bestandless) 20 December 2015
– The IndigenousX Anthology
We will be launching our first Anthology of Indigenous writers soon, which is all kinds of awesome 🙂
— Sandra Phillips (@DrSRP1) 13 March 2016
Dr Sandra Phillips is a boss editor, and is co-editing the Anthology with me, here are some more words from Sandra: “IndigenousX fulfils the promise of digital disruption. On a minute by minute and 24/7 basis it connects people whose regular jobs would keep them apart, whose everyday and family and community roles and responsibilities would make it too difficult to spend time together. IndigenousX carves out space for the thrashing out of ideas, the contestation and collaboration of visionary ideals. IndigenousX makes time for all the crying, the shock, horror, surprise, epiphanies, as well as all the LOLs required on that journey to beating a path to a better future. That’s Blak, that’s First Nation, that’s Mobs, that’s IndigenousX. Thanks Luke.”
And speaking of books, thanks to AIATSIS you get a 10% discount every time you shop online at Aboriginal Studies Press and use IndigenousX as your discount code! It’s awesome to partner with such an important institution to help get more Indigenous resources out into the world.
I know we’ve already said it, but SO MANY HOSTS, FOLLOWERS, FRIENDS & SUPPORTERS!!!
“I felt really honoured to be asked to host IndigenousX
To me IndigenousX means Black Knowledge & For me Black Knowledge means Black Power!
Happy Bday IndigenousX
Keep keepn it black n keep keepn it Real 😉”
Elizabeth Goie Wymarra
Aka @woollogirl – ABC Black Comedy star, and creator of the #BlackGinChronicles.
“To me it’s just like NAIDOC Week, but online and happening every day of the year…it gives new meaning to the phrase keyboard warriorship providing a vital and necessary space for blackfellas all over the country to speak up, speak back and speak black…” Dr Chelsea Bond, Senior Research Fellow NIRAKN
” IndigenousX elevates and celebrates the diversity of our mob from all across the country and has built a sense of community online. I love that it is a space for people to connect with each other, share ideas and opinions and to address real issues when other platforms shy away or shut down.” Amelia Telford – SEED National Director
“IndigenousX is like a magical modern day message-stick, keeping us all connected and informed for the greater good so we can ‘do some good’. May it always rest in good hands – happy 4th birthday, IndigenousX!” Kylie Farmer – actor, writer, director, TV presenter, language advocate and creator of the #HelloIndigenousX hashtag
“IndigenousX elevates and celebrates the diversity of our mob from all across the country and has built a sense of community online. I love that it is a space for people to connect with each other, share ideas and opinions and to address real issues when other platforms shy away or shut down.” Matthew Heffernan – slam poet, former host, and regular writer for our site.
Matt also made a video for our crowdfunder which is well worth a watch:
Hosting IndigenousX has been an incredible experience. The ability to communicate with such a volume of followers is mind blowing. The engagement with such numbers of people on the topic of Indigenous identity has been overwhelming. My experience hosting IndigenousX has resulted in national and perhaps international exposure to my research. As an Indigenous academic this is invaluable and extremely stimulating.” A/Prof Bronwyn Carlson – check out her book, The Politics of Identity, and use the discount code above for 10% off!
“IndigenousX enables us to showcase our diversity, strengths and excellence to the World in a modern context. Happy Birthday IndigenousX!!” Jimblah
“A huge HB to everyone at @indigX – the followers, the hosts & all contributors.
The people I have met & stories I have heard since being introduced to the Twitter world has been nothing short of incredible.
The week I was host, happened to be the unfortunate Lindt Siege incident – I got to share my views on a huge platform & met an idle of mine I had wanted to meet for many years Marcia Langton.
Happy Bday IndigX – let’s continue to build and highlight our mob world wide.” Joey Williams, The Enemy Within
“IndigenousX has created a space where a variety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can share their views on anything and everything. It has allowed Australia and the world to see that we are a heterogeneous group like all other Cultural groups and to see how deadly we are! There is no other space like it! The value of a space like this shouldn’t be under estimated given there are so few public spaces where our views are privileged.” Summer May Finlay #IHMayDay16 #JustJustice
There’s so many more stories out there, but hopefully some of these memories gave you a smile… thanks to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far and we look forward to many more stories to share over the years ahead!
— Pearson In The Wind (@LukeLPearson) March 11, 2016
I can say without hesitation that my time with IndigenousX has been the greatest four years of my life. Thank you so much to everyone who has been a part of it.
If I forgot any moments that you want to share, feel free to add them on the #4YearsofIndigenousX tag 🙂
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Luke Pearson is a Gamilaroi man, and is the founder and CEO of IndigenousX.