What does NAIDOC mean to you?
For me it’s a time to reflect and rejoice. I love seeing NAIDOC Week grow each year, more people are talking about the history, culture, issues and opportunities and that’s really important. It’s also a time to recognise the incredible work that people have done throughout the year at the NAIDOC Awards, not only those who are nominated or win but also all of those people who work tirelessly each day to achieve better outcomes for our communities.
What does this year’s theme mean to you?
I like that this year’s theme is very much about action. It’s a call to action. That’s what we need, we need action and we need to keep moving forward.
How will you be celebrating NAIDOC this year?
I was lucky enough to attend the NAIDOC Awards in Naarm which is Blackfullas Christmas. It’s been 2 years and having the opportunity to catch up with so many people from all over the country was extremely fulfilling. I will also be tuning in to NITV for all the great content, especially looking forward to the launch of Off Country.
What is good allyship and how can non-Indigenous Australians be effective allies both at work and at home?
Good allyship is action. It’s involvement. It’s more than posting a black square on Instagram. Good allyship is in the doing. It’s calling out your slightly racist uncle at dinner. It’s donating time or money to Indigenous causes. It’s being proactive in your education of our culture, history and challenges. I think that one of the easiest ways is to be curious – to engage with First Nations content.
This year’s theme – Get up! Stand up! Show up! – encourages all of us to champion institutional, structural, collaborative, and cooperative change. What changes would you most like to see in 2-3 years time?
a. Land back.
b. Raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility.
c. A greater focus on our true history taught at all levels of schooling with Indigenous Educators supporting this learning in schools.
What can people start doing from today to make a difference?
Start following Indigenous influencers, subscribe to a Blak owned podcast, watch a piece of content from NITV. It starts with education and the easiest way to do this is through consuming the myriad of content we have available.
SBS has committed to a number of initiatives designed to recognise the strength that First Nations people, perspectives and experiences can bring to our workplace. What initiatives do you think are going to make the biggest impact?
I think that increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation across SBS content more broadly, not just on Indigenous issues is really important. To see ourselves portrayed as doctors, teachers, scientists, to see us hosting programmes not directly related to Indigenous issues is critical to seeing ourselves reflected in society.
Of course I also can’t go past Beyond 3%; which is our initiative in SBS Media that aims to increase investment in advertising in First Nations media. Advertising on NITV for example, is an investment which goes directly into producing, commissioning or acquiring Indigenous content so we can tell more stories from our perspective.
What would you like to see the broader business community doing to genuinely champion institutional, structural, collaborative and cooperative change?
The biggest way business can have an impact is by investing, whether that’s in First Nations media through advertising or their supply chain with First Nations businesses. It’s creating opportunities for talent and being aware that a small shift in their budgets can mean a big impact for First Nations business and media.
" I like that this year's theme is very much about action. It's a call to action. That's what we need"