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Bronwyn Carlson. The politics of identity and who gets to decide who is – and isn’t – Indigenous

My name is Bronwyn Carlson and I am an Aboriginal woman who was born on and lives on Dharawal Country on the South Coast of NSW. I am an associate professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Wollongong

I have been talking about the politics of identity on IndigenousX and it has been an amazing experience having such a significant audience to talk with about my research on identity.

Indigenous Suicide, Sexuality and Gender Diverse Populations

Earlier this week saw the release of the first ever Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders owned and led Sexuality and Gender Diverse Populations (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer and Intersex – LGBTQI) Roundtable Report. This report is via the federally funded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP). A small group of people identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Intersex (LGBTQI) participated in the third national roundtable also co-hosted by the National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation in Canberra on 16th March 2015.

Bday wishes from The Koori Woman

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).

4 Years of @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.

The Confirmation of Aboriginality and “Fake Aborigines”

“It’s not easy being Aboriginal, out there. It is not easy”
(Kickett 1999, p. 74)

As I recently sat at the airport waiting for my plane, I picked up a copy of The Australian to pass the time. On the front page was the headline ‘Push for Aboriginal ID tests by indigenous leaders’. It was no surprise to see such a sensationalised introduction to the issue of Aboriginal identity. Such headlines have become commonplace in recent years. Today, another headline, and again in The Australian, ‘Land council slams Aboriginality rorts’. All too often the process of obtaining proof of Aboriginality is framed by much mainstream media as an easy task. This is usually set against the sub-text that there are masses of people fraudulently claiming to be Aboriginal for all the perceived ‘benefits’. I have been doing several radio interviews of late and I have frequently been asked about the stories in The Australian. While I am not familiar with these ‘new’ iteration of mainstream media’s interpretation of this issue, I do claim some knowledge of this topic, having written about the Confirmation of Aboriginality in my new book.

An Indigenous business?

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

This is the mantra of social commentators everywhere: anti-welfare and pro-free market. The argument goes that economic self-determination is the key to overcoming Indigenous disadvantage and will be achieved from employment, enterprise and entrepreneurship.

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Daniel Lester. Economic prosperity is crucial to improving social outcomes for Aboriginal people

I am Daniel Lester, a proud Wonnarua man and a descendant of the Lester family, born in the Sutherland shire with strong family connections to La Perouse and the south coast of NSW. I’m the first deputy ombudsman (Aboriginal programs) in NSW and Australia.

The broader NSW Ombudsman agency in which I sit is an independent and impartial watchdog, overseeing most public sector and many private sector agencies to make sure they meet their responsibilities to the community. Loosely translated, the word “ombudsman” means “the citizen’s defender” or “representative of the people”. We are independent of the government and accountable to the public through parliament itself. Our mandate is to improve the conduct and decision making of agencies within our jurisdiction.

The Noble Savage Ultimatum

There was much uproar when Dennis Jensen recently evoked the centuries old ideal of the Noble Savage, mostly because he used a term so outdated and racist that most of us aren’t really all that familiar with it, we just know that it is outdated and racist.

Jensen however is standing by it and says that, in the context of his speech, it was perfectly appropriate usage.

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Tasman Keith. Indigenous Australia: it’s too late to redecorate; we need to demolish the crib

What’s up people? I go by the name of Tasman Keith, I’m a Goori man from Bowraville which is in the Gumbaynggirr Nation – my Aboriginal heritage comes from my father’s side. I also inherit bloodlines of Irish, Scottish and English from my mother’s side.

I’m a full-time musician and part-time school learning support officer at Bowraville Central. When I’m not working on music I’m helping the kids from primary and secondary with their education, which often gets sidetracked with either their questions on my music, or their questions on Aboriginal history.