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The Amazing Indigenous Creatives And Entrepreneurs Fighting To Be Heard

"We've been silenced for too long"

The year 2020 marks 250 years since James Cook’s first voyage to Australia, yet today Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still aren’t acknowledged in our constitution.

The time is now for recognition and reform, as called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

This month, marie claire joins forces with some of Australia’s biggest and brightest names to unite for change. Here, actress Miah Madden, model Billie Jean Hamlet and entrepreneur Mikaela Jade talk about the importance of the issue…

Miah Madden, Actress [left]

“To be a young Indigenous woman in Australia is absolutely beautiful in the sense that we have this unique connection to our land, to our people and to our culture. But there is also a wide part of Australia’s population that doesn’t fully understand our origins, heritage and this country’s history. That makes it hard for us to move forward together as a united nation. 

Creating a generation of indigenous Australians who are educated and given the same treatment and resources needs to be a focus.”

Billie Jean Hamlet, Model [middle]

“I grew up in a remote community in Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia. My cousins and I were lucky to spend most of our childhood camping, fishing, hunting and learning about our elders. Moving from a remote community to the city was a difficult adjustment. I feel that aboriginal people have so much untapped knowledge, wisdom and power that the rest of Australia could benefit from. Let us be heard. We’ve been silenced for too long.”

Mikaela Jade, Entrepreneur [right]

“Sensible, just and timely is how I’d describe the Uluru Statement. It’s [one of] the first times so many First Nations people have come together, and it’s time the nation nation gives Indigenous people what they are asking for. It’s a travesty that we’re still not in the constitution, but I’m more interested in the next 250 years and what that means for us. We’ve been through three industrial revolutions already and they haven’t fed our people very well. I’m very nervous about entering a fourth without that voice to parliament. There will be so many important conversations and it’s imperative that there is a voice to parliament that can oversee the development of our freedoms.”

This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of marie claire.

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