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, actor and producer Rodger Corser and his daughter Zipporah Corser- Anu, a performing arts student, speak about the importance of Indigenous recognition and why we need change for the next generation…
Rodger Corser, Actor and Producer
“My eldest daughter Zippy has Torres Strait Islander heritage, so this issue is particularly close to me. Over the years I’ve noticed that Australia has done a lot for multiculturalism – which is amazing – but I believe what’s been lacking is the acknowledgement of Indigenous people, and a melding of cultures.
As white Australians, all you see in the media is reflections of yourself, and as such you have an innate confidence that you can achieve anything. Indigenous Australians like Zippy don’t have that, and progress is long overdue. I think this move to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples is only positive for every single Australian. Certain politicians fear that with any type of acknowledgment there’ll be some sort of retribution – I don’t know what they’re so afraid of”.
Zipporah Corser-Anu, Performing Arts Student
“i’m a singer and a dancer and that’s how I express my culture and connect with it. It’s how my culture has been passed down, and I’m proud of it. But one of the biggest issues we face as a people in racism.I’m a lighter -skinned Indigenous person, so I’ve experienced colourism and prejudice – being told that I can’t do certain things because I’m not dark enough, or not Aborigional enough. But I’m lucky that, even though I’m only 17, my parents are both in the media, so I have a way of sharing my voice, through my mum [Christine Anu] as a Torres Strait Islander woman and my dad as a non-indigenous man. I feel like I want to create a future that is equal for everyone. When I have children – and my dad has grandchildren – I want their future to be as bright as any other kid’s”.
This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of marie claire.