Indigenous

#IndigenousDads: Heartfelt images shared to counter Leak's cartoon

#Indigenousdads is responding to The Australian's controversial cartoon Source: Twitter

#Indigenousdads is a heartfelt response to Bill Leak's controversial cartoon, with Indigenous Australians proudly sharing images of their fathers on social media.

Indigenous families have responded to the “racist” and “insulting” cartoon published in The Australian newspaper last week by celebrating their relationship with their fathers.

The controversial image by cartoonist Bill Leak drew widespread outrage for its depiction of a police officer handing a child to his father who is holding a beer and unable to remember his son’s name.

Indigenous Australians have taken to Twitter under the hashtag "#IndigenousDads" to share images of what their families and the father-figures in their lives actually look like.

Cleverman director and creator Ryan Griffen, was among those taking part, and posted an image of his son alongside the caption, "Not only do I know my son's name but I named a superhero after him #IndigenousDads #Cleverman".

Another father shared a similar image with his four sons and the words, "Don't even drink beer and know all the names of my sons. That 'cartoon' labelled me otherwise. #IndigenousDads".

Others used the hashtag, which began trending at the weekend, to share memories of their fathers with one saying, "He worked for almost 5 decades - even as a diplomat overseas & never EVER forgot my name".

Another wrote, "This is my dad Jack. I'm so lucky to have such an amazing dad love me and be there throughout my life".

Western Australian Senator Patrick Dodson, Australian rugby league commissioner Chris Sarra, and Queensland MP Leeanne Enoch, were also among those reflecting on what fatherhood means to them.

Bill Leak's cartoon coincided with National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children's Day and came a week after the ABC's Four Corners program aired footage showing scenes of abuse from Darwin’s Don Dale juvenile detention centre.

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council has said it will lodge a complaint to the Australian Press Council against the "racist cartoon" that "insulted and denigrated Aboriginal people".

"Bill Leak’s cartoon is ugly, insulting and it is embarrassing for Australia’s national newspaper to publish it," the council said in a statement.

“It is time the decision-makers at The Australian accept personal responsibility for the hurt they have caused Aboriginal people today.

“The hurt and humiliation that victims of racism experience is real and has a terrible toll on the health and well-being of Aboriginal people," the statement said.

Leak has continued to defend his cartoon, telling The Guardian that he "was trying to say you think things are pretty crook for the children locked up in the Northern Territory’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, you should have a look at the homes they came from".

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