Aboriginality Reflections — Erin's Story
Aboriginal identity and background
Hey, I’m Erin! I’m a Trawlwoolway woman from North-East Tasmania, and am descended from Dolly Dalrymple, granddaughter of great leader and chief, Mannalargenna. Growing up, I knew I was Aboriginal, but it’s only something I’ve come to terms with in recent years. When I was at art school, I did a folio on my Aboriginal identity, and my passion has come from there. Last year, I pulled up stumps and moved to Tasmania, and enrolled in a course in Tasmanian Aboriginal studies. It was an amazing experience, and so fantastic to meet people with the same ancestors and political aspirations as me. Though I have strong roots in Tassie, I was raised in Melbourne, so the opportunity to reconnect was truly fantastic. It was like coming home.
Passion and interest in decolonisation
Reflecting on racism and ignorance in Australia
My Aboriginal story has been an interesting one, because I grew up away from culture and country. My dad is a proud Aboriginal man, and made sure my sister and I knew where we came from, but it wasn’t quite the same as growing up in community. Like many, I faced a lot of ignorance about my identity growing up, with countless people asking the question, “If you’re Aboriginal, why are you white?” And the thing is, I don’t necessarily blame them. We live in a world where we’re fed a very limited idea of what an Aboriginal person can be – that we are hunter gatherer types, that we use boomerangs and didgeridoos, and that we live in the central desert. Though ignorant, these views are upheld by Australian schools, politicians, and the media, and have a profound influence on the way we view Aboriginal people today. It’s a tale as old as time – the ones who know the least are the ones who have the most power.