“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.