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Bday wishes from The Koori Woman

Happy Birthday, IndigenousX

I have had the honour of hosting IndigenousX twice (plus a very dubious hour consisting of plants that looked hilariously like genitalia) and both times I met some great people, the usual racist trolls and friends that will last a lifetime.

IndigenousX is the reason I joined Twitter, because at the time it was being hosted by Celeste Liddle, one of my very favourite Aboriginal writers. What began as me joining twitter to engage in conversations with Celeste prompted my own writing journey, a track I’m still travelling (albeit at a much slower pace lately).

I was reluctant to host IndigenousX when I was approached, as my Twitter style can often be confrontational, dismissive, angry, and incredibly sweary, for want of a better word.

Ask anyone who has ever edited any of my pieces they will tell you how much I dislike my words being edited, but I was assured I would not have to change anything about the way I tweet and I could block and/or unfollow anyone who I felt were being trolls.

Something I learned from hosting IndigenousX is that for an online space as enormous as Twitter is, and for all of the criticism it justly deserves for its lack of suspending or deleting astonishingly racist and violence inciting accounts, IndigenousX is an incredibly safe space for Indigenous people to talk about their issues in their own voices.

I think this is due in part to the respect IndigenousX has earned through its commitment to giving a voice to ordinary everyday Indigenous people. A space to talk about issues that don’t make it into the mainstream. A space where people can talk about Indigenous issues which are important to them. A supportive space for Indigenous people to talk openly and frankly about their lives. Voices which otherwise would never have a platform to speak to at last count twenty five thousand followers. In other parts I believe that each host blocks racists and trolls thus removing threats and unwanted attention for the next host, making the hosting space safer and safer each ensuing week.

The first time I hosted IndigenousX, I was nervous and unused to such a rapidly moving timeline, but after a few days I felt comfortable enough to speak about myself, my hometown, historical racism and Dreamtime stories. When I began hosting my personal account had around 300 followers, by the time my seven days of hosting were done my personal account had over a thousand followers.

The second time I hosted I spoke about Self Determination, governmental policies affecting Indigenous people and colonialism. IndigenousX trended in Sydney during my hosting stint and I think it was the first time IndigenousX was put in ‘Twitter jail’ (I had been tweeting too much, mostly in replies, and mostly re-tweeting) for about a half hour. Still find ways to put us in jail, even virtually.

Over the past 3 years I have watched IndigenousX go from strength to strength. Its partnering with The Guardian to give hosts an even bigger platform through its weekly introduction of hosts. Its partnership with Start Some Good, and the IndigenousX backed projects to crowd fund for important issues run by Indigenous people. It’s branching into clothing (if you don’t own an IndigenousX hoodie then who even are you?!). And the IndigenousX website, which in itself is going from strength to strength.

IndigenousX has become a part of the next chapter in Indigenous growth, by giving voice to the voiceless it has created a groundswell towards Indigenous achievement, towards Indigenous education, towards Indigenous crowd funding, towards Indigenous creation and most of all IndigenousX has earned its right to be called Indigenous Excellence.

 

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