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Bronwyn Carlson

Bronwyn Carlson is an Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Wollongong. Her book The Politics of Identity: Who Counts as Aboriginal Today? is published by Aboriginal Studies Press.
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Bronwyn's articles

Let’s take giant steps to end racism and injustice towards Indigenous peoples

Bronwyn Carlson: ‘Many of my students hold the belief that the 1967 referendum was about giving Aboriginal people the vote. They have very little knowledge about the Australian constitution.’

Why are Indigenous people such avid users of social media?

Indigenous people use social media at a rate higher than non-Indigenous people, and this is the case right across the country.
  • 17 Mar 2016

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.

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.

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