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Rachel Perkins Is The Change Australia Needs To See

She's been fighting for justice since she was a toddler

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, director, producer and screenwriter Rachel Perkins talks about how we need to move forward from past traumas for a better future…

“My father [Indigenous activist Charlie Perkins] once said, ‘We cannot live in the past, but the past lives in us.’ As Indigenous people, we carry our memories of hardship and racism with us. But we can’t be shackled by past trauma or difficulties, we have to move forward. Australia needs to come to terms with its Indigenous past. Other nations, like New Zealand, the US and South Africa, have been able to do that. We need our voice to be enshrined in the constitution so Indigenous people are heard. I’ve been raising my voice since I was born. There’s a photo of me sitting on my dad’s lap at the Tent Embassy in 1972, holding a big placard that reads, ‘Aboriginal affairs to be run by Aborigines’. That was 48 years ago. I feel like my dad’s work was not completed in his lifetime and I’m determined to make it happen. It’s up to all of us to try.”

This article originally appeared in marie claire Australia. 

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