Launched by proud Gamilaroi man, Luke Pearson, who is also a writer, speaker and Senior Digital Producer here at NITV - since 15th March 2012, IndigenousX has had a new Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander host on twitter each week, providing an insight into the lives and thoughts of numerous activists, artists, authors, academics, politicians and more. On a special blog post reflecting on the milestone, Pearson said that from the beginning the aim was always to break down the culture of misinformation around Indigenous culture and people. "@IndigenousX was created for one simple purpose - to help amplify Indigenous voices online."
"The idea was that we would do that through having a different Indigenous person each week take control of the account and tell their own story in their own words; talk about the things they wanted to talk about, not just about what other people wanted to hear from us. I hoped that this would help to break down the homogenous view that many still hold about Aboriginal people, and that traditional media in Australia hadn’t done much to challenge."
I was privileged to be asked to host in 2013 and again late last year and can attest that what is great about the role of host is that there is no agenda, we are able to share what we wish. Whether that be personal commentary on an issue affecting us, further reaching topics or just day to day musings, the beauty is really in the freedom to be exactly who we are. In a landscape which can be dominated and constricted by certain assumptions and editorial agendas, it is an invaluable and unique platform.
Not only has the IndigenousX Twitter account and website been a place to find insight and quality information, it has been a source of inspiration and a change agent. Let's have a look at some of these achievements:
Getting the definition of a word in the Macquarie Dictionary changed? No problem. Luke Pearson was able to lobby and redefine a term that was offensive and just plain wrong.
'We got Macquarie Dictionary to change their definition of ‘boong’ and remove the part that claimed it was acceptable language in Aboriginal English. I actually think the entire word is so outdated that it could probably be removed altogether from our dictionaries in the same way that most dictionaries no longer have the word ‘hootenanny’, but I was a bit preoccupied at the time.'
A partnership with The Guardian has enabled the voices of IndigenousX to be heard and shared amongst a very wide audience.
Renee Williamson, Producer/Presenter - Indij Hip Hop show - has had the honour of hosting twice and tells NITV why she thinks IndigenousX is so impactful. "Everyone has a voice. It's just that not everyone has the same access to the platform. We do not need others to speak for us, when we can speak ourselves. IndigenousX showcases the variety of voices of Indigenous Australia. And in 2017, it remains an incredible, important tool in hearing those voices that are still largely overlooked."
"We do not need others to speak for us, when we can speak ourselves. IndigenousX showcases the variety of voices of Indigenous Australia. In our own voice!" - Renee Williamson
Former host, Jeremy Donovan, CEO of Walking With Wisdom says, "IndigenousX has provided us as Blackfellas a platform to share and discuss our lives, our work and our journeys. We need platforms like this where we can communicate and discuss all that is relevant to our lives. This is a modern platform for the preservation and sharing of culture!
This is a modern platform for the preservation and sharing of culture!! -Jeremy Donovan
Founder and International speaker at The Enemy Within- Joe Williams was an IndigenousX host during a turbulent time for the country, and tells NITV that the experience highlighted even further the need for such a platform.
"IndigenousX is a platform in order for our people's opinions to be heard - not only for our voice to be heard, but a platform where our people support each other on topical issues concerning our people. I was a host during the week of the Lindt siege - an obvious tragedy, but also it unfortunately again confirmed the work that needs to be done around equality in our nation."
I was a host during the week of the Lindt siege - an obvious tragedy, but also it unfortunately again confirmed the work that needs to be done around equality in our nation. -Joe Williams
Pearson also touched on some of the areas beyond the Twittersphere where they have been able to have further reaching impact."We have helped promote important conversations, events, campaigns, and issues; helped raise over $400,000 for Indigenous projects via StartSomeGood; we have challenged racism from individuals, in media, government and institutions and educated countless thousands of people about the diversity and richness of Indigenous peoples and cultures; our partnership with the Guardian helped show other media outlets the importance of having Indigenous people telling Indigenous stories; our collaboration with Twitter helped to get many Indigenous tweeps their blue tick, and the recognition they deserve for all of their hard work and success.
We have helped promote important conversations, events, campaigns, and issues; helped raise over $400,000 for Indigenous projects via StartSomeGood; we have challenged racism from individuals, in media, government and institutions and educated countless thousands of people about the diversity and richness of Indigenous peoples and culture - Luke Pearson, Founder IndigenousX
Today the social media community has been paying tribute to IndigenousX. NITV congratulates IndigenousX on a successful 5 years!