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The controversy following Tony Abbott's comments about Aboriginal identity turned into a twitter forum on what it is to be an Indigenous Australian, under the hashtag #Itriedtobeauthentic.
By
Natalie Ahmat

Source
NITV News
15 Nov 2012 - 5:22 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug 2013 - 10:48 AM

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's comments about Aboriginal identity have already created plenty of controversy, but now many are turning to social media to tackle the subject.

On Tuesday, Mr Abbott suggested that Indigenous Australians from Central Australia were more authentic than their urban counterparts - comments which have resulted in an influx of reaction on Twitter.

"I think it would be terrific if, as well as having an urban Aboriginal member of Parliament, we had an Aboriginal person from Central Australia -- an authentic representative of the ancient cultures of Central Australia in Parliament," Mr Abbott stated.

While some, like West Australian MP Ken Wyatt, have described Mr Abbott's words as "unhelpful and unfortunate", others have used social media to highlight the funny side of the subject.

The hash tag #Itriedtobeauthenticbut " has attracted a variety of comments, with writer Anita Heiss one of the more enthusiastic contributors.

"I tried to be authentic but I've thrown more parties than boomerangs," Ms Heiss tweeted.

Another twitter comment read, "I tried to be authentic but.. I couldn't find any yellow ochre at the paint store".

Despite the light-hearted nature in which many people have reacted to Mr Abbott's comments, Ms Heiss admits there's a more serious issue at stake.

"There's a form of politics in this country that feeds other people's intolerance and fear, and it appears to divide us as a people. But this week, we just jumped up straight away and said: 'we're together on this, we're not even taking it seriously'," she said.