New year, new you?
We’ve just had Amnesia Day (January 26) where Facebook posts boast “Aussie pride” and the shops were full of thongs and t-shirts plastered with the colonial flag. For most of us mob, our hearts were heavy knowing that people were standing around the BBQ, munching on their snags and toasting the invasion and brutal and violent dispossession of our people.
However, it is also the time of year where good and decent people ask what they can do as allies to support us mob. And what a better way to start the year than with some suggestions and while this list is by no means exhaustive, it’s a start of the yarn:
Gifts to buy loved ones this year? Buy from blak businesses, here’s just a few: Haus or Dizzy, Lake Tyrrell Art, Kookorrniny Koondarms beautiful dreams, Koori Circle Earrings, Bush Medijina, Brandi Rose, Murri Menu, Wangullay Art, Ginny’s Girl Gang, Andos Art Prints, Gunditj Art, Clothing the Gap, Nungalicious Art, Bec Lee-Creating Dreams, PUNU carvings
- Support First Nations leading action on the climate crisis:https://au.gofundme.com/f/first-nations-fire-knowledge-land-lore
- Send toothbrushes and toothpastes to Maningrida’s appeal via Babbarra Women’s Centre: PMB 102, Winnellie, NT 0822. Attend Reconciliation events – show up and show your support!
- Now that Dutton has declared war on Bruce Pascoe, you could show your support for Bruce and buy his brilliant book, Dark Emu
- Turn up for blak fullas and weaponise whatever privileges you have access to. More often than not privileges are simple things like time, access to venues, access to content, having a platform that you can share.
- Get to know which Aboriginal nation you live and study on; acknowledge the custodians of that land, and remember the lands and waters across this country have been stolen. We never ceded sovereignty
- Listen to and centre First Nation voices and knowledges—and respect our view points
- Challenge people when they use reductive stereotypes of us…silence reinforces settler notions of Indigeneity and demean us every time
And most of all, check in on your Aboriginal friends and colleagues at uni. Our people have historically been denied education—we are still overwhelmingly under-represented across “Australian” universities, making up just 1.7% of the domestic student population. So, for most of us we are working on surviving within an academy built for, by and with whiteness and patriarchy at its core. Our existence within these institutions is a revolutionary act of resistance and evidence of our strength.
Every day as an Aboriginal woman I am required to perform to and resist colonial imaginings of Aboriginality—it’s exhausting. Most days, we navigate the force of white settler hostility, hazardous and harmful race talk, and we study within buildings whose architecture itself represents violent dispossession…and still we rise.
Words by Tabitha Lean
Art by Rachael Anderson