- August 26, 2019
Marlee Silva – A Kamilaroi and Dunghutti woman, National Youth Advisor at Australian Red Cross, and the founder of Tiddas 4 Tiddas.
In 2019, Marlee founded Tiddas 4 Tiddas, a podcast and an initiative which focuses on raising awareness around Indigenous culture and society. The stories that Marlee shares through her podcast, empower Indigenous women by helping them understand their worth, and what they’re capable of.
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show we discuss:
– Marlee’s initiative, Tiddas 4 Tiddas
– Being ostracised in childhood
– Schooling and education
– Gratitude and who you surround yourself with
– Sharing stories
– Indigenous cultures
– Responsible tourism
Marlee on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marlee.silva
Marlee’s podcast, Tiddas 4 Tiddas:
Tiddas 4 Tiddas on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiddas4tiddas/
Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21401526-dark-emu
Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia by Anita Heiss: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/36985859-growing-up-aboriginal-in-australia
NAIDOC Week: https://www.naidoc.org.au/
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us mail: PO BOX 400, Abbotsford VIC 3067
A conversation sometimes worth recording with mates Tommy Jackett & Josh Janssen. Each weekday, Tommy & Josh chat about life, creativity, business and relationships — big questions and banter. Regularly visited by guests and friends of the show! This is The Daily Talk Show.
This podcast is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY. Find out more at https://bigmediacompany.com/
It's the daily Talk Show Episode 436. And we have a special guest in the studio. Marlee Silva. How are you? I'm fantastic. How you guys were very good. Yeah, you're in Melbourne. I am. Thank you for reminding me. Yes. You renounced God I just in case you didn't know where you were, like a casino. So people will come in here and they don't realise how long they've been in this space. It's like, yeah, there's no luck. There's no windows. There's no clock. You just lose less money here. Yeah. Good. That's fine. What's your wallet? Get away from it. So we actually met it's probably like the start of the year. I think was last That was last year. Was it really? Yeah, I think it was January. Was it
was it was it yet trust me it was the before. So we made a video with ZZ Rama. Yep, loves the game and and you were there. You helped sort of OT that all up and then the video came out much later.
Why I think you think it was the next honestly, the last 12 months is blood into one. Second what it's been very busy for you because when we first met you, you didn't have your podcast at that point we didn't have to this for to this at all. So I remember saying on Instagram, you did a post sounds like I want to see I click through and I stopped following from the daily talk show. And then over the course of six months you've gone from how do you describe it? How do you describe what's what's happened? Oh, it's just been like, an explosion
completely surpassed what I expected. Like I started on a whim and kind of thought that it would consist of me putting the storeys that I cared about out into the Athos and, you know, my friends and family would be like, Oh, that's cool, but that would be it. And then
yeah, well, I got 15 point 7000. Now what came first the the Instagram page
A lot of people like one do something it Josh unless you can get the Instagram handle.
And so which i think you know, having an Instagram like having an idea turning into an Instagram and then can evolve into something bigger which it has to this to this what is it for people that that, you know, get with it 15,000 people already following so stop following. So today is an Aboriginal slang word which means system. So essentially it translates as sisters for sisters, and it's yes social media base but we're starting to move into different areas. A platform that's all dedicated to empowering and inspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women by sharing storeys of everyday women and big role models and leaders from across the country and what they're doing and
yeah, it's now a podcast which is kind of insane. So it's an interesting storey how that came about. And one of how I think I commented on
a post about Brooke bony doing an interview with me afraid men from the account and may a sword and stalked me and then slid into my dams and asked me ever for a cup of tea and said, You know, I mean obviously a few things happened in between that but literally within a week of her messaging me she was like I think we can offer you a podcast and I was like
okay, is that being a thing that strategically Have you always thought about the the marketing like you've got a communications background that's what you do. Is that being something of like, I'm going to comment and then this will happen in this happened.
I would like to think that I had some sort of strategy going on. I mean, the reason we grew so quickly, we had 1000 followers within a week because my sister is mates with Latrell Mitchell the rugby league player and messaged him and kind of was like, hey, if you think this is cool sharing your storey, and he actually did a post about it.
Amazing, you know, like so instantly from him doing that Mike my phone died from how many people were following us and stuff.
I realised that if we wanted to reach more people, we'd have to get the right people on board. Um, so yeah, I think there's probably a little bit of strategy around like one who you following and like, what you keeping tabs on and being very engaging and not only like commenting on lots of things, but like commenting back and making sure message people back and all that stuff. So when was that? 2018? November? Yeah, yeah. And so fast forward to now you're in Melbourne this morning. You were you were doing a talk. You had the Madonna microphone. Yeah, I mean, you could hardly say it. It's very, very disgrace, but I definitely feel like a week.
So do you think that
Something like this morning, the talk wouldn't have come about, had you not sort of taken that first step in starting. Yeah, it's we it's because this whole, like speaking life is not that new to me. I used to work in the nonprofit sector. And my big part of my role that I had for a 12 month period. It was, I was a co CEO of an organisation, which was like a 12 month, sort of like a cadet ship, where I worked really closely with the CEO. And it meant that I was in a lot of rooms like I was this morning, and I'm telling my storey, so like my first job as part of that role was to write a 20 minute keynote to present a room full of 200 people that I had never done that before. And I was 20 at the time.
So I very much had to learn on my face. And I think that Yeah, I had a lot of opportunities where I've been able to share like that. So maybe it
would have been asked to something like this but no definitely not the context of the this particular event because it's about inspiring like big businesses to think more socially and how they can
give back and provide new opportunities for different groups to do better. So
I think almost being considered a businesswoman isn't completely new thing for me. Do you see yourself as a businesswoman? I didn't know if I feel comfortable with it yet. Because
I guess because there's all these little branches of the to this to this concept that are kind of emerging the podcast and then there's, you know, we're doing some stuff in schools and there's more people who want us to do face to face stuff. It's going to end up something of a business. I don't know how you would categorise it. I don't think you have to think you're a businesswoman to become a businesswoman. I don't you know Yeah, being just starting a business. It's these things can happen so organically, when you see something getting
traction, the like, you know, I think it was my wife was saying last night, she's like, we're talking about Zoe foster Blake and go to skincare. And, and she and we're just talking about that business. And she said, I don't know if I could do that. But I don't know if you think ahead that far that you like us right now, we can't be the version, we want to be this moment, because we have to get there. But it starts somewhere. And I think it's also for women in particular to kind of
outwardly share that that's what they're aspiring to, or even talk about pursuing something like that because there's still this stigma of, you know, wanting to be and I also like, it's an Australian attitude. I like the tall poppy syndrome sort of stuff. Like if you talk about it like that. It can be quite
scary, like people's responses, and people will doubt you. Yeah, particularly if you're a woman or if you're an Aboriginal woman. The expectations are just like very low. But there's there's also a
Huge expectation around, like as an Aboriginal woman having to feel I guess, like, representing a whole community. How, how do you reconcile that? Is there? Is there a technique or a way that you you view it? Well, it's, it's interesting because the first time I guess I was expected to be the representative and the knowledge holder of 80,000 years of history, um, was in high school. I was the only Aboriginal student there until my sister got there. I grew up in the southern Cheyenne in New South Wales, Quran Allah, very famous for rice rice. And
I, you know, it's a very high Anglo Saxon population and most of my peers have never met an Aboriginal person before. So, at a moment where I was essentially outed to my school. As a black fella. A lot of questions came flying at me
That were, you know, kind of ill informed because kids who grew up in households where their parents are talk a certain way, you know, kids are pretty dumb. Like if we're
Yeah, right, no, you know, you're still learning your social cues and like what's appropriate and stuff. So I definitely think productive environment, like you saying the parents like I think about myself when I was young and the dialogue then compared to now, it's completely different, right? Or I'm, maybe I've just become slightly more intelligent, but not that much because I have to unlearn to become an adult but like one, you know, a question in particular that has, I talked about very often because it's kind of like the central point of my life where I kind of think of everything that was happening before that or after it. And it was after my dad picked me up from school one day and one of my PS saw him and asked me the next day, why my dad was black, and never had I heard someone be called a colour and it was
Like, the first because growing up in a mixed household, it's obviously not something you ever talk about, because it's not relevant.
I can tell you the skin colour, obviously culture is a different thing but skin colours that, you know, I think when you bring that into it, it becomes the, the ostracising elements of society. So that was the real moment where you kind of go, oh my god, like, people think that my dad is different today that because of how we look so whatever.
But yeah, so that was the moment I was added. Right? And so then you start getting asked about water, which really grabs taste like and do you believe in the dream time and then also like about a history and like, you know, what does this mean? Or
tell us about these and this is even teachers would ask me this sort of stuff, and what kind of knowledge around that stuff Did you have at that at that I my knowledge was like my family storey and my experience is the number to a woman so you know, like, but it's stuff that I accept.
It is normal when you're not, you know, it would be like, we always went into Harbin, which is the festival that they hold in Victoria Park in Sydney on January 26. Never had I celebrated last Friday.
But I also didn't know that that wasn't normal. And I didn't realise the tensions around the day and I also didn't realise until much later on in my adolescence that it was quite It was like a divisive day. Like, as much as
I knew that we weren't celebrating. I didn't really question it. I didn't go Why are we Why are we mad or why? Why do we do this and then all my mates go down to granola for the big festival and wear the Australian flag and also, so I don't know, you know, subconsciously why I don't feel like I connect to that flag, but I connect tomorrow. And what about Dad? Is that something that he was not? So he wasn't aware of where he was and he kept that from that. Mom and Dad
to like, a good job of
protecting us from things but it wasn't like they were trying to wrap us up and call it wall it was more like now this is just how it is. And like they didn't politicise things
when it came to. I loved the album so much. I loved it that day because I would be in with all my family at this awesome festival and we've just been talking about how mad it is to be a black fella.
So, yeah, we just we just accepted it. That's what it was. And then it wasn't until people started going, Well, why do you do that? And I remember one go, my sister had been in at yarn with us, and she had like our flag tattooed on her face, and then she'd gone to meet our friends at the beach after and one of them said, Why do you have that flag on its Australia Day.
I mean, again, we're just saying kids.
But like it that was one of the first times where you kind of go Wait, what like, we we are this country where the foundations of it you know, and also
I think I didn't even realise it was a national day of celebration like in the way that I guess it is. And then that, you know, it's all those little touch points where you kind of have these glass shattering moments of realisation that I live in a bubble. And above hold that, you know, is a microcosm of what you would like to think Australian society, us very multicultural family, like, even on my mom's side, my mom's white and like, I have cousins who are Lebanese and Filipino and they married to Islanders. And that's like the UN like,
in some ways, like you're describing that you become you, you became a novelty within the playground, which I find interesting because your dad's a cop, and I feel like as a kid, if I found out that someone's dad was always like, how many people is he shot? Like, has he got a gun all the time? Let's see this. It's the trifecta. Because,
yeah, we're Aboriginal. He's a cop and he's a former rugby league player. I thought you're gonna say you had a double storey house, going
JH Yeah, that was a big question. Swimming Pool.
water bed. Always wanted to ask you about the water bed. How do you fill it up?
So, yeah, so like was that it was that even a weird thing I would pay will bring up the whole cup thing as well. Yeah. I mean people were scared of that. because they'd be like, oh, big black guy with a gun.
But then they talk to him for 30 seconds and realise he's actually a 15 year old boy.
Yeah. But he loves like, he just walks around like this and not a very serious guy at all. But people just look at him because he looks like a cop in a room city may looks like a golf people serious always say that. Yeah.
He's got the badge and the gun.
But he just loves to laugh.
Particularly when like, boys would come to the house. I had a little male friends, and they'd always like you just say look on their face. When dad would
walk in the room. They go
Whoa, whoa, whoa, what up, man? I gotta be like, Okay, cool. Like, it's fine. But it was the coughing. And then. Yeah, also the funny thing was a big thing. Yeah. Especially when they were we got to that kind of age group where there was a lot of boys around me who wanted to be rockabilly players. And so, so when you, when the teachers start asking you questions, mean, you're meant to be the student learning, and the teachers are asking these things. Did you then go home and ask a bunch of questions, or did you feel the responsibility? Yeah, definitely. Um, I first saw exactly that, that feeling of like, hey, you're going to be teaching me?
Crap. Am I a bad Aboriginal person? Like, should I be knowing all of these straightaway? And in hindsight, it's like no, like, you know, first of all, the way that we pass down knowledge has been damaged through all the atrocities and removal of culture that we've seen the last 250 years.
But also, I'm young and I you know, wanted to
line to the the same rate as everyone else. But I did I did go home and ask so many questions and one of my uncle's is that academic and he's like, he genuinely is one of the only told his family and I remember bringing him
asking dad for his number to ring him and dad was like, okay, whatever. And I spoke to him for a few hours and was like you just like, tell me about these Tell me about that. And
he he was really helpful in that sense. And the more I learned about my family, storeys, I think that was, you know, what I focused on for a long time. So, when I was representing myself, that's who I was representing, um, and then I, you know, as much as my parents had done a really good job of, you know, not politicising things, not that it's a bad thing to do. So, I became very political very, very quickly. And, you know, very angry was a very angry teenager. And it's crazy like there was one
point where I had PS right? Molly Silva sniffs petrol on school property graffiti to, and I was just sick of it. And I remember sitting at the dinner table next to my white mother and saying I hate white people. Like that was the point that I was pushed to, which is insane. And it taken a few years like I still have, you know, problems trusting
non indigenous people sometimes like, particularly in certain corporate environments, and some people when you can kind of see the way that they react when I have, you know, my flag because I always have different Aboriginal earrings on and things like that and people kind of look at you and you just get scared. And it's not scared because I think they're going to be like, you know, blatantly racist to me, but they have expectations. So, it was, it was a weird journey to kind of navigate. I think every teenager goes through that identity crisis.
And going through it as he crosses as a team.
Niger, not enough. Yeah. And did you feel was there a fork in the road where you had to go down the path of activism and really being strong versus not? Yeah. So I mean, I found that that fork in the road was almost when someone asked me, you know, why dad was black a little bit and then it kind of was furthered because
the school kind of leadership saw me as a almost like a PR opportunity for the school because I was academically pretty good.
And so they would parade me out in front of the Department of the head of education as the ideal Aboriginal student would go to any kind of event
that they had opportunity to send me to and actually probably need 10
I went to this Leadership Camp
in Queensland and I was like the youngest one there was mostly like senior students and over like four days
Just having these amazing ladies like talk to us and kind of really pump us up
and just tell us how amazing it is to be original. That was probably the moment I realised like, Hey, I have a voice. And
you know, there's people who want to listen to it and who are kind of excited by me and like, all the young people around me. So that was probably the first time I was I think it's being pushed into that leadership position where you kind of go, Okay, this is, you know, maybe I have to speak out a little bit more and so does that shift from a feeling of anger to channelling that that just energy Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I mean, I still pretty angry until I probably I left school and then you get to uni. And I loved uni. Because I loved you know, being able to choose what I studied and also not being told what to do I teachers. Did you get into the extra curricular activities?
Well, I volunteered in a few things like all things like, related back to helping average community.
And yeah, it was like starting again, it was like a clean slate and uni and I found myself being like, hey, like my storeys and like what I've gone through. Because I was volunteering with Aboriginal kids, I've turned it into something positive. It's now a tool to help people get through what I went through and also educate non indigenous people about like, what's appropriate.
So that was the beginning point. So 18 is probably the time where I was like, hey, I've dealt with my emotions and doing pretty good and like, let's do this. Let's do something more. Is there education that you end up doing with your family and parents too, because I feel like you're getting such a unique perspective where you're talking toward it like you're in that space. You having that conversation? Has there been interesting conversations within the family based on that? Yeah, um, it's been
It's really interesting because my sister and I were less than two years apart, we were in the one year pot at school. And we had very similar experiences exactly the same upbringing, very different responses to it. So it really impacted her self confidence. And it kind of, she turned inward while it was went outward. So that's caused a little bit of tension in the household, like, not to a point where it's like a big problem, but there's been things we've disagreed on in terms of how we respond to things. So that's a really interesting discussion, because
they were talking about the exact same thing, we have different perspectives on it. And it's kind of that whole, like, pick your battles thing and, you know, managing your energy and like who you should be, you know, addressing and that sort of stuff. And for mom and dad, I think the hardest thing for them is both of them had hoped that what my dad went through as a young man was not something we'd ever have to see or ever have to experience and I think
Mom talks about being really heartbroken and feeling quite hopeless at some of the stuff that we went through that and most of stuff that I think we must have blocked out or something because she, there's been a couple of times I've told storeys installed platforms like this. And she's like, I didn't know about that. And I'm like, really? Yeah, moms can do that. Right power. Yeah, walking stuff out.
I mean, they all do they understand they're seeing things. And then it probably affects it. Like, I've got a young son and I think about the future and yeah, you know, that kind of I know, my mom struggles I went through she can't remember. Yeah, I remember them. Yeah, yeah. So
I have felt, you know, bad for them because I don't want them to think they didn't do enough because it's got absolutely nothing to do with them. We had the perfect environment to grow up in was so lucky in so many ways. But it's also accepting that as much as you can have the best place at home. You're not safe from the outside world. And so yeah, that that's been hard and
In the sense that I, I am sorry for them to feel like that, because it's just so not their fault. And they did everything right. It's just unfortunately the rest of the world isn't like us. How do you experience gratitude? Like, I feel like when you're dealing with such massive issues,
it could be so easy or like, and also make so much sense to be in it and thinking about it.
How do you fit gratitude amongst amongst all your experiences, like gratitude for what I think like it like from
so for instance, all the things that have happened, and the activism that you're doing and what sort of thing you're having, you're reliving all of these horrendous moments.
And we get told all the time by self help, it's like you gotta be good, like,
gratitude in the pain. No, no, no, definitely not.
pain but just just having fun balance in life where it's like if you're spending all this time, okay? How do you how do you then on the weekend? Chill, like chill out as well? Oh, yeah, I don't really have weekends. Yeah. What about downtime? Someone asked me about downtime this week. And I was like,
I sleep. Yeah, that's my downtime.
No, I, the biggest thing that you need and this is something I've actually had to learn in the last 18 months, so a bit later on in the pace is who you surround yourself with is so the title I halfway through last year, I found myself in a bit of a social rat, and it kind of was affecting my career path because I was still doing my honours at uni and was figuring out you know what I would do it when I had to become a real adult after it.
And I kind of felt a bit stuck in a bit icky and just like, I feel like myself and I realised it was because
The people I was hanging out with, and as much as they're not bad people at all, they're just normal, you know, 20 something year olds. They were living for the weekend, and they're worried about, you know, drinking, they'll just all I would do on a Monday is text in the group message and be like fire. I can't wait for a beer on Friday. Yeah, like, and I'm like, Whoa, that's so not me at all. Like, yeah, like to have fun. And, and, you know, when I do have the chance of downtime and chilling out, but I don't have the time to like, be, you know, so hung over on a Sunday that I can't plan for my week. Yeah. And
I actually needed the body to be able to recover and you can't do that if you just absolutely slaughtering it every single weekend. And so, you know, it's scary to do what 23 but I had to, like, make new friends and how do you do you cut them off? Or you just stop talking to them? Or what's the approach you just gradually move away? Yeah, you say no, to go into the pub 10 times. Everyone asked you. What is
Exactly, exactly. And it's it's hard because there's no there was no confrontation. And it's not like I have any animosity towards these people. It's just a lifestyle difference. And yeah, there was a point in time when I was interested in going out every weekend. But I just don't have the energy for it anymore and it doesn't feel me back up. I know. I've realised the first time I worked full time I took a year off, you need to be that co CEO position. And I burnt out really quickly. Are you doing blogging? I saw the couple of blogs.
Yeah. 15 Day mark. 30 Day mark. Yeah, I was good. I loved it. I thought you get the whole we supposed to do it. Like I didn't do videos all the time. It was just when I couldn't be bothered to write something. I think it's great like it. Yeah, I mean, the thing that stands out to me with you is like listening to your podcast and watching is your ability just to present and communicate and the even like we're talking OFF AIR about my inability to hold on to information
Then you just like I can talk, but I can't. It's not that I make sense. And so we hang around
with that a skill that you found early on and just worked on and developed, like, storytelling. So I was super shy, um, when I was like a little kid and my mom was very worried about it as I was going to primary school, because I would like, we'd be like, you know, family, friends barbecue, and I'd be like, attached to her leg and like, wouldn't go play with the other kids and stuff.
Yeah, obviously, I knew that early on.
And so she was scared when I was going to go to primary school, they wouldn't make any friends. So she put me into drama class.
And being on stage and telling a storey is I don't know just I just have this inherent passion and I think a talent for it that I'm yeah, I refined a little bit over
15 years of drama classes what sort of productions did you work on? What were you?
Go? What Julie? That's a grace. Yeah, no, I Oh, absolutely no musical talent.
Oh my God, why can't I remember Shakespeare? What's that pie? Everyone does it and it's the witches like in the
crucible, the crucible.
That was pretty cool. And then for my 12 Drama, individual performance I did a 10 minute monologue from the film candy with a ledger and Abby Cornish their heroin addict really lot subject matter.
But yeah, I
I found myself like I'm a little bit socially awkward. And I felt more comfortable standing on a stage talking to a room full of you know, four to 500 people
than I did. You know, talking to my hairdresser. Yeah, I really would like to steal that personally.
Um, we don't have to say you how you dress
individual hair dresses I just go to the same hairdresser all the time. No, no, no, this is my problem. Yeah. So what do you do you just go to a random one each time well, so my hair is quite short now I caught it a lot of it off at the beginning of your personally coming in now just so.
before this for the past three years prior to calling it this short, my mom has been trading it because I refuse to get the address. Yeah. And then I was like, No, I want to get really short and I don't trust you. Excuse me with the this is you got to do that exam probably end up with a bowl cut. I went to a hairdressers and know my hairdresser is really lovely. She has cute little kids. So I actually just talked to the kids.
But yeah, yeah, so that was kind of
where I guess I never felt like I trained to be able to tell a storey but I guess that's kind of what it was. And then
know Yeah, I guess it's just that that passion and I feel like when I spoke this morning, someone like,
took a picture of me and like put it on Instagram and I like re shared it on my storey and my mom messaged me being like, Oh my god, like, how do you not like crap you pay when you take this and I'm like you do.
And I said to it, it actually makes me feel really good. Like, I didn't feel nervous. Maybe I'm a sociopath. But I genuinely just.
But ya know, it makes me feel really good. Is it because it's your storey and there's certain things where it's like, this is out of my realm, and I'm not comfortable. I haven't found it yet.
I think because i
don't know i'm very clear on what my messages are and like what my purpose is in particular rooms and I don't have any desire.
To kind of wander off into two things I'm not qualified to talk about
the cathartic Yeah, I think it's been a massive part of the healing process. I can tell the storeys now in this way and not get upset not because they're not emotional anymore but because I've healed from it. And I guess that goes back to that the gratitude because I'm, I'm thankful for the the opportunity to share and to learn in telling the storey as well as you learn more about yourself in the way you tell things.
And now, yeah, being in a space where I'm strong enough to do that and to be vulnerable and also to call people out on things
you know, especially on a big platform, which is that was something that was a little bit scary as we grew quite big. Because it means that more people see you and then more people who are not part of the community that you want to be part of it. Yeah, um, who kind of just like, again, blatantly racist or like this
own opinions and things like that. That was scary for me not because it was going to affect me because of, you know what I've just been talking about. But because we have lots of young people who follow us, we're not at that point. And I didn't want them to have to see it on what is such a positive place for us. And then when it happened a couple of times, you know, I also had to catch myself and how much I you know, gave them and when you go to a point where you like, I'm not gonna change this person's mind or teach them anything, so just block and delete. So that's kind of like a weird thing as well. Have you found like, obviously, the intergenerational trauma is such a massive part of this whole thing. The healing that you experience does, do you find that it? Do you see a change in your dad or or your family through your healing? I don't know if it's directly a result of me or if it's also because there's this changing attitude, externally.
Well, but the way my dad's opened up about a lot of the stuff that happened in his childhood in the last two years, has been amazing. And his brothers done the same thing. And I think they're all coming to terms with how abusive their father was, and how much domestic violence my men went through. And I'd never heard them talk about it before. And my dad's a white rabbit ambassador, and he actually, like, did a video series about it. And, you know, got a bit of backlash from some of these cousins who obviously didn't live with his dad and stuff and like, you know, my pops now passed away and so they were like you're disrespecting him or whatever.
But he just like was so brave and like, so was like, again, it's that healing process, and he's like, people can learn from what I went through. So yeah, I think maybe it's because we are constantly talking about stuff constantly sharing storeys in our house and talking about co chair and what it means and like what else for myself and my sister like, what else
Goals are moving forward, that maybe that's had some impact on on dad sharing. But also because there is this kind of growing voice all over Australia of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people who are killing it in whatever game that it is that they play, and, you know, using their platforms to talk about this stuff and normalise it and change people's perspectives. You talked about your sister and yourself similar upbringing, different experience, different way of coping with it, like from listening to your podcast, you know, some of them made me feel really uncomfortable. And then some of them didn't. And they're different storeys, and they're people that have experienced a similar thing, dealing with them in different ways and having a different outlook. What have you learned about hearing that sort of that difference across people having the same experience Yes, different perspective. Um,
it's really a
Interesting, I think that I'm learning so much more about my culture and like, the how varied and diverse, the Aboriginals experience is, I've never doubted that there's no one way to be an average person or there's no one experience that makes you, you know, more official than anyone else. You know, we really are a continent. You know, before invasion, there was over 500 different nations and so many different language groups and things like that. And I think that I've just had it reaffirmed in me that as individuals, we represent that diversity in our experience. I think that it means that some of the issues we face are far more complex, because how they need to be addressed in different communities. It's like some of them is so different.
And it's also like, really beautiful. I think if you think about the thousands of people who do identifies Aboriginal and know
of a storey is playing part, a part in the continuation of the 80,000 years that we've already had, which is this kind of amazing tapestry of
kind of immense beauty and strength and also immense sadness and, you know, resilience and heartbreak. That is, has the power to, I think, solve a lot of the issues that we see in this country across the board, regardless of whether they're indigenous specific or not.
And I guess a big part of what I want to see is like the rest of Australia, looking at that and learning from it, and also when they address individual Aboriginal people not going in with any expectation because like, you can think you know, something, because you've met five Aboriginal people, but the sixth one is going to be completely different storey. I mean, what I like about the podcast is that there is the difference in the storeys, and I guess maybe angle it
The law a way of communicating is that everyone receives information and digested actually in bodies at differently. So, is there have you found, you know, like he's is the anger? Do you think that translates to education for someone on the other end? Because I think my thought from listening was I think it might for some, yeah, maybe not for other people but know that other star might not connect. Yeah. It is interesting that you raise this because it's
an interesting thing that I was talking about with a friend of mine recently. He's also
the way that we respond. You know, anger is like the natural instinct, I think, because when injustice happens, that's how you feel you feel angry and frustrated, and you kind of want to fight fire with fire a little bit. But if we want to be really realistic about bringing people with us, I think there's a real fine line.
I think you need to be able to submit with people like how serious this is and how they really need to
Pay attention, but also not ostracise them and kind of talk to them as if they are the back.
I don't know the default when this kind of situation.
And I think it's because I was that person for a very long time I was that person and no one was walking no nonagenarian, this person wanted to listen to me because I was like, You are the Son, you know, blah, blah, blah. So, there's still plenty of times like in my speech today, I finished it.
By talking about you know, when people hear the storeys they always say, like, how can we help you how, you know, what can we do to help you help Aboriginal people? And I had to be quite honest and say, just because you want doesn't mean you're more qualified to. So I think something like that and not being like, don't comment on us like this and whatever, whatever. It's an honest statement. It's an open one, and it's one that
I think causes, you know, some dialogue that are in this particular room. No one got defensive on it.
They just went okay, cool. I'll listen to you something. Well, you shouldn't have to have all the answers in all this. I even noticed, like, anytime I have someone from overseas come and visit, they'll ask just very basic questions about like, even just Melbourne. Like, why is that straight there? And I realised how little I know about everything. And then I can only imagine as an Aboriginal woman, how much you experience every day of people just asking every question and I do put myself in a position where I guess people
yet feel like they can come to me to ask questions. I actually had an experience recently, which caused a bit of division on the platform where someone I went to school with who Yeah, like I've obviously spoken about what my school experience was like, and the handful of people who like back to me and supported me, and even just comforted me when some things did happen was quite small. And the rest kind of went on. Like we don't get it like
You know, really that Aboriginal because of how I looked, and also like the Get over it sort of attitude. And this person who reached out to me on my personal Instagram was one of those people who was indifferent. And also like, I very distinctly remember, I shouldn't say her, but now I said her or
her, saying that she was scared of black men, and she didn't know why, like, in front of me, like, for no apparent reason. And she messaged me and asked me a favour about connecting her to an Aboriginal artist, and I just blatantly said, No. And
she kind of was like, OY. And I was like, Look, I just think it's ridiculous that the two times that you've reached out to me since high school have been because she'd asked me to help her with a uni assignment like two years ago. And again, I said no. And now she asked me to these
have been to do things that would benefit you in your workplace in your study, but it's got at you have no appreciation.
The culture know vulnerability of going like hey, I, you know, I'm growing, I'm learning. And you just there are coming to me as if I'm average on Google, right.
And I posted about it on to this for two days, because I think it was something that
a lot of people don't realise is kind of quite taxing. So I own that to speak to this platform and answer every single question. And I want people to ask questions, and everyone always comes to me from a place of like, I really just don't know, it's not demanding. It's just open and honest. And there's times where I have to go, I actually don't know. And that's fine. And so a really, really amazing
kind of exchange of learning.
So when I posted about it, I was like, hey, like, we need to talk about this because it takes a lot of energy a lot of the time to be that cultural spokesperson, because, like we talked about, we don't know everything and
I'm also an stupidly busy all the time, and I don't know
The time to do certain things, especially when it's something that you can literally just put into Google. Yeah.
So the response was really interesting, because like, a vast majority of people were like, Oh my God, this happens to me all the time. Like, I'm so glad you're talking about it. Because, you know, you want to find a nice way of being able to go like, Yes, I want you to ask questions, and that's great. But also pick the time and the lack respect to me when you do it. And then there was other people who were like, No, you shouldn't post about this, because it's going to turn people away from wanting to ask these things. And then they'll just think that
someone made a comment about like, kind of angry, angry black woman trope, which made me a little bit mad, which is ironic.
And so that that division was really kind of interesting and complex and like, then people like people who commented sort of like opposition to me, the people who were integrates with me Will that comment back and stuff and I'm like, oh, like let's not win. This is not a place to argue like this is really important discussion, and I think it can be really fun.
for the first like hour after I posted it because it like blew up really quickly. I was like, oh God should I have done that? But by the end of the day, I was like, No, this was really good. This is important and like it's about setting boundaries and I think again because of the journey that I've been on I can I'm not afraid to
kind of be like yeah thank you for being part of this journey but at the end of the day Don't make it about you.
And but yeah, again this like dialogue back and forth between me and non indigenous people or a community and and indigenous people were finding a balance and just working with everyone's egos and kind of trying to find nice compromise which I think sounds easy when you say like that, but it is hard when there's all these different people. So that was that was one of the times where I kind of, I don't know I was a little bit tone about you know what to do and whatever. Well it's beyond rice to it because it's it's an entirely
Men like it reminds It reminds me of people on school who I rarely talked to ask it like, damn it. The reason one of the reasons I got rid of Facebook was because the amount of people asking which MacBook Pro they should buy because I had a tech blog once, right, like people are sure I've sent him that
because he was, but Yeah, it is. It is interesting. The the idea of
picking picking fights and also there's a great book by Jon Ronson called so you've been publicly shamed, which is all about when sort of the when it switches over from being that productive to that mob mentality of the exact same thing. How do you talk to young people who are where you were when you were young and angry? Yeah. Is it about saying looking at from another perspective, or do they need to experience that? I think when it's been like an individual like, one on one situation, which I've luckily
Unable to be in with some young people who are very angry. I kind of opened it up to them be like, Yeah, tell me why angry and like, have this angry moment with me now. So then we can move past it and do that healing and then figure out how to express it, you know better so you aren't getting kicked out of class in school and you aren't facing those,
the negative things that come out of it. And when these individuals have an opportunity to express themselves like that, and then like talk it through,
that's, I find that they can they build a lot of resilience that way. So, I mean, for people who are going through that, too, I don't know maybe there is a certain level of you need to experience that or if you have it, like feel it and own it and, but don't hold on to it forever and don't let it turn you better because then that hatred that you get spewed at you wins. Because if it turns you into someone who's better than you hold yourself back and then you can't grow and be better and do better for yourself.
So interesting. Like, I guess what we're talking about is these massive cultural shifts of people and like, I even think about Australia Day, and I think about like the, the, the flag and the emotion, the emotive response I have of it now or the cringe, versus when I was a kid at the party with the camps and all that sort of thing. Do you think that in a culture of everyone wants everything now everyone wants to be working? Everyone wants to be the one that saying, you know, I've got all the answers. Does it actually like, do we need to take small incremental steps? Or are there actual radical shifts that will get us there? It's a balance of both. I think that
in doing something life changing the date of Australia Day, that, you know, is a is a one step. It might seem like something radical, but really it's one step. And then what comes after it is the incremental changes around really defining these trials.
identity. that's ultimately what the argument is about. Because that's something that isn't very clear to a lot of people. And that's why people get caught up in the lack. Even my mom and my mom says that growing up that yesterday wasn't a piece up, like people didn't get drunk the way that they do now and like make it this big party. She was like, it was never like that. So I think we, you know, a lot of people will have like, misconstrued what it's meant to be about, which plays into like the toxicity of the day, and makes for really awful kind of outcomes. And I think that if that was changed, in order for it to be a success, and we'd have to make sure that the data was changed to didn't become exactly the same as what it is now. And it would it has to be about redefining, like, what does it mean to be Australian? What are our values? Like, you know, we are such a diverse community. How do we come up with something that's universal that we can all buy into? How much shift is there in schools, especially in primary school?
The age of what education is and what's being taught around what's happened.
Well, I think it's a little bit different everywhere. Um, I don't know, exactly like what the curriculum looks like, I only know of like, the University of New South Wales if you use it go go quite a bit of publicity when they started teaching that teaching students to say invasion rather than colonisation. And to be Yeah, a little bit more honest about the beginning of
what we know as Australia today. So that's interesting. I think that it's almost Yeah, the changes in universities
are where a lot of that can be cemented.
I went to UT s and they have an incredible average on unit and they're actually building the first indigenous residential college, which will be amazing and they've embedded Aboriginal knowledge is in practices in
Every single one of their subjects. So it's what guides everything, regardless of what you're studying, regardless of what the topic is. It's Yeah, so, so that's really interesting as well. And I imagine that that's probably going to produce some teachers who have different perspectives to.
But, yeah, as far as I know, from where he was some kids in high school and stuff, it's still like Aboriginal history is one or two periods in you, right?
Yeah, unless you do Aboriginal studies. Yeah. I mean, the, the young people of today will be the teachers of the future. So I think it's that in terms of it changing, and not might not change from a curricular level, but it from a human level of people going into those jobs. That change and that's what we need. And so that's what inspires change too. Yeah. You're one of those people winter. You were in Europe.
edoema This is so much window. You lucky
cold in Melbourne.
When you're travelling around and saying other countries and how they experience history and culture, what do you what do you take away from all of that? I've been really lucky. I've travelled so much throughout my life because my mom looks for Qantas. Yes. It's
How many like how is she still working? Yeah.
Really cool. Yep. double whammy Yeah. 25 year anniversary two days. Wow, congrats.
And so when you're on the contest thing not to make it all about that but so wishy washy. Yeah. What did she do a contest? Ah, she's moved around. Yeah.
Oh, God, I couldn't even list all the things she does. But now she is working in the fright
office and making sure. Oh, no, I won't raise that. But she's got some really scary storeys about today.
Dogs on planes so I can tell anyone anything never send your dog on a plane really terrible virgins doing that whole like you get frequent flyer points now when you sell your dog like I'm thinking about getting a dog just so I can get
there's like a dog businesses to send pets united killed a dog the other the other night like can we
that if that's the number one takeaway for me please just don't do it I will tell you some storeys offline because you don't need to hear it yeah but no it's really
nice I did you drive your dog is the storey you know the whole mission and is true storey show they did one where a guy was working at the fright type of thing like for the the animals, they the dog got to the location. And the guy looked it was dead. And so he found an old dog like a dog that looked exactly the same to swapped it The thing was the dog
was actually dead already. So the the owner rocked up like a dead dog. And it was.
anyway back to back to the Europe thing is I find it interesting like
going to New Zealand specifically, it seems like the relationship with the indigenous people like they've got attacked like dogs in a pit. Oh my god a bit more. Yeah, there's so much. I mean, sometimes I feel like they're just a better country look at the Prime Minister. Yeah.
Ya know, so we've travelled heaps, I've seen some, you know, I've been really lucky to experience a lot of different cultures all over the world and also connect with other First Nations people. I did a summer programme at Stanford University in 2016 and met some native american people for the first time and their storeys. So similar to ours, which is quite, you know, it's nice because I see ways that we can work together but also heartbreaking because
kind of context in America is like, there's so many oppressed minority groups that you kind of all fighting for attention.
But being able to do that, and being able to experience coaches that way, in Europe, I found myself you know, we were in Rome and at the Coliseum and things and mom made a comment like arts. Look how old it is and stuff and I say, mate,
you're joking. You're joking. I dance all that's cute, like 1000 years old. Cute. Okay, I give me you know, 60,000 Let's go to Bray Warren on the fish traps. 40,000 years old, oldest surviving man made thing in the world. Right. So that's how I kind of look at those sorts of things. But I do find it interesting.
Yeah, particularly in Europe. I think there's, you know, people stand there in front of these things in order and they're like, amazing and everything. And they are, but I think they're perceived as amazing by so many people because it's still a Western idea of what successes as these big buildings. It's the society that looks
Like the beginnings of the one that we know today, so I find that it's made me.
I mean, being able to travel my whole life has been amazing. And I'm so thankful for it because I think it's also played into who I am and how I understand other people and
kind of also saturating yourself in the world and in kind of sometimes how it's sometimes it's made you go, Oh, I'm an insignificant I'm in and on a speck on a speck. Right. But also
knowing that, you know, some of the big problems we see are you they feel a little bit smaller sometimes. And that's really nice. But yeah, I mean, I love travel so much. And probably one of the best trips I had was last year I went to South America into the Inca Trail. And that was amazing. We, you know, God was an indigenous man and he kind of told us all the storeys and things like that and, again, when you have your own culture and your own storeys that you appreciate
Things like that. The way that you emphasise and connect with people overseas is different, I think and yeah, it's, it's beautiful.
And yeah, I think it's definitely shaped who I am to it can change your perspective. take you out your bubble. Yeah. Do you think tourism is good for awareness or education? Or is there a missing piece because I, you know, I've stood in
the cathedral in Rome and like, you know, I'm just dead or visually and hearing some things but you know, take
the huge rock in the middle of Australia and what's happening there, and tourism pit, you know, this, it thrives. And that's how it helps people. Do you think it helps the awareness in the right way? I think that tour, tourism industries across the world have the same problem. So Rome is a prime example the Vatican, amazing kind of structures and everything, but on the outskirts of it.
Plenty of homeless people, you kind of go what your church? Like, isn't that your job to look after all of God's people, you know if that's your thing, and I 70 year old again, yeah, exactly. That's exactly the point, right. There's all these contradictions. So again, you want to go to
the central part of Australia see this, you know, phenomenon that is all true. And you recognise it as a, you know, spiritually significant place for Aboriginal people. But then the contradiction is you go and pay to climate when it is completely inappropriate and so offensive to all Aboriginal Australians. So I think it exists everywhere. And I think that
responsible tourism is probably something that needs to be focused on and
the when they're looking at the bottom line, when they're looking at the dollars that they can make. Yeah, that's hard. There is a growing indigenous tourism industry which owned and run by Aboriginal people, which I think is amazing. And I think another thing that
kind of, I often say that an international person and a lot of just regular Australians perspective of what what Aboriginal people are and where they live in, in that is kind of the tourism Australia page. In the red desert, they all look a lot darker than me and kind of leave quite traditionally, right? Which just isn't the case, the highest population of Aboriginal people in the country is in Western Sydney. Right? That's the highest concentration. Lots of people don't know that. So people's perception of where Aboriginal Australia is that it's really remote, it's really far away from the average person is something that needs to be dispelled. And I think a part of that is, so we are seeing, you know, our voices rising Australia but there needs to come a point when we kind of get to that international level as well, which seems far away in some
such a long way to go. Yeah.
Boy, yeah, but then you think of someone like Patty Mills,
the basketball law and he has just like, just got married has been here with with the boomers. And instead of having a honeymoon, he went out to a town called Odin adada in South Australia and like did this and worked with like all the kids and stuff and like gave them heaps of stuff and travelled around a few different remote communities and all documented on his social media. So he's bringing the storeys of remote Australia to an international stage because he plays in the US. So I, as much as it does feel like we have we do have a lot. There's no doubt actually that we have a lot of work to do in this country. What happens is when we do have
Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people given the same opportunities as other Australians, in education, in employment in everything, what we see is not them meeting, the average kind of standard, they exceed it and that's what happens.
It's been shown in a lot of
like I yeah, I used to work for an education programme. And what we'd find is when kids would mentor through their schooling and told that they could do more than what was expected of them from their schools, a lot of the time, they didn't just get average marks, they got the best marks in their class. So there's so much opportunity there. I think that if we continue to build up, you know, better understanding and yet more opportunity for everyone, you'll just see us kind of like, rise up and take over.
And you get asked a lot of questions. A lot of them probably coming from people who have no idea what is what's the one question that you get the most, what are people constantly asking you? Um,
I mean, a lot of people asked me how to help
with tears for two days. A lot of people ask how to help and the answer to that now is spreading the word and
Being a part of it and learning, I think the biggest thing that non indigenous Australia can do is sit back and listen and listen to learn, not listen to respond.
Because I think a lot of the time people want to sit and listen to storeys, so they can talk about their perspective or their opinion on things, when it should just be I'll listen to this alone, I'll take it on and I'll grow as a person. So, I mean, the great thing about things like podcasting is it is spreading the word or it's like it's in a startup world. It's that scalable thing, right? It's scaling you so that people get it's like, oh, well, you can just listen to that. Is there any resources or technology that's that's come about in the past few years around the space
around like in a main sort of indigenous education? Like it because I guess, just googling it like there's a there's a great site, I think it's called just google it.com. And you can put in
the question that they asked and it will spit out an
animation of a cursor going and typing it in and pressing Google. So then it's sort of a passive aggressive way.
Which is great. But there definitely was a bit fact, there's a bit of like this bad information. Like when I was in when I was like 15 years old, we went to Central Australia for a school camp. And the,
what we were told around things is just so different to the actual reality. So that was a time where I was like, Oh, you know, Aboriginal people around, you know, like, they're looking after all the tourism stuff. So climbing all the row with like, you know, they've got it all. Like it's their business and blah, blah, blah. And there's a few and at that point in like 2006 from me being a coach in a bus, you know, being educated on this sort of stuff.
It's so easy to see how misinformation yet around this stuff. Yeah.
happen. So like a great place to start is with resources that are authored by Aboriginal people. There's plenty of a great book that I couldn't recommend more is Doc AV by Bruce Pascoe.
It's just incredible in the way that it dispels so many myths about how our society operated prior to
the British arriving, and it also
helps people unlearn that we are where these kind of unsophisticated unintelligent society we actually had some of the most sophisticated systems means of agriculture and everything. It's It's really incredible to books like that. I will plug a book that I mean, growing up Aboriginal in Australia, which has been edited by an ADA highest and it's a collection of short storeys, of which I wrote one and yeah, a whole plethora of different Aboriginal people. That youngest rider was 15 the
oldest was in their 70s. And one person wrote from jail, like it's a does a pretty good job at painting, how diverse our experiences are so so starting with that sort of stuff, and just yeah, being hungry for it and going to local events. If you see something particularly around January 26, NATO quake reconciliation week, when you see those events, go and be a part of them. Listen, start conversations with people, because that's kind of the time of year when we're ready to kind of talk about a lot of stuff
and also interact with Aboriginal businesses. Yeah, that's, that's a really great thing to do as well. I think social media also, there's such an opportunity of like, who you follow and who you can show me Yeah, and I think that's like, I think a great starting point is is going on to, you know, tennis for tennis and following and just like, yeah, so many people that way, share that you'll, you know, want to follow them. Yeah, a lot of artists, a lot of
People who doing like, crazy stuff that you just wouldn't even think exists.
So yeah, like, I guess we are kind of a starting point for a lot of things.
Lots of discussions and lots of events that happened that people don't know about. So, yeah, awesome. You've got a great podcast. Yeah, it's it's a nice likewise. Like the what? You're talking about these other resources. It is a resource. Yeah, I'm listening to it thinking Fuck, I didn't know this shit. Yeah, I feel really uncomfortable. And that's the good thing, right? It's like, it's okay to feel uncomfortable about this stuff. Because doesn't make you a bad person. Yeah, you're someone who wants to be better off. I think people try and get away from discomfort. And it's probably not it. It's not where the change lives. Yeah. And it's about the the, what we consume as well, right? Like it's so I think about like, Tommy and I will go to an event and then for the next two weeks, we're talking about it and all that sort of thing. So there's slight shift seen, what can we do? Well, like you can go listen to it.
Can also be like conscious of the mainstream media that you consume as well. Yes. There's a lot of mainstream media that doesn't do a good job of representing anyone. Yeah, you know, and so just be conscious of that stuff as well. Awesome. Well, congratulations with everything you've built. It's like awesome saying, the start of this journey. It feels like it's just the beginning. So we should would love to have you back on sometime soon. Maybe I'll be too famous. Yeah. You have buddy.
Hi, the daily talk. show.com is the email address if you want to send us an email if you've enjoyed the show, take a screen grab, take a photo with you somewhere. Exotic or tropical, somewhere other than cold, Melbourne. And otherwise, we'll see tomorrow.