In May this year we have the chance to reflect on two pivotal milestone events in Australian Indigenous history: 50 years ago in a federal referendum, the Australian public voted to have Aboriginal people recognised and counted as citizens; and 25 years ago The High Court's Mabo judgment overturned the fiction of terra nullius.
Time Out Sydney and Time Out Melbourne, popular city arts and culture guides, are both spotlighting Indigenous peoples, art, ideas, language and culture in celebration of these milestone events and the ongoing unique impact that Indigenous culture has always and continues to make each and every day.
I was so honoured and excited when I was asked to be the Guest Editor for the Sydney (Gadigal Land) edition. I know that there are still a lot of misconceptions in the wider population about Aboriginal peoples; what we are supposed to look like, where we live, what we do and what we think. It is so important that we have the platform to speak for ourselves.
I know that there are still a lot of misconceptions in the wider population about Aboriginal peoples; what we are supposed to look like, where we live, what we do and what we think. It is so important that we have the platform to speak for ourselves.
The lead feature for both issues was a spotlight of ‘Deadly’ people, living and working in both cities. From artists, designers, musicians and journalists, to entrepreneurs (and many NITV alumni) such as Luke Pearson (IndigenousX), Danny Teece Johnson (NITV), Paola Balla (artist & curator) and Hannah Donnelly (writer) among many others highlighting the beautiful diversity of our communities.
Each issue features a different cover designed by local artists: Reko Rennie, a Kamilaroi man based in Sydney, and Josh Muir, Yorta Yorta/Gunditjmara man, based in Melbourne. The neon feathered cover of Sydney's publication by Rennie stems from his Barangaroo precinct project, titled 'As the crow flies', a large wall mural near Sydney harbour.
"The crow is one of the totems [for Aboriginal people] and important in terms of cultural relationships," Rennie explained in Time Out. "But it also represents freedom and the ability to move."
Time Out Sydney editor Emma Joyce said that every issue of magazine the staff aim champion the people who make this city a better place to live - and that's exactly what they wanted to do with the Deadly Sydney issue.
"It was a joy to work with Emily as our guest editor, who curated the list of 23 Deadly Sydneysiders and gave direction to the other features within the issue, such as an intergenerational discussion on the impact of the Referendum and a feature on the Darug language. Though this is our first ever Deadly issue, we aim to include stories of First Nations Australians in every issue, across arts and culture, food and drink, music and things to do around Sydney.
"This project has helped to deepen this ongoing commitment. We know we've got a long way to go, and every opportunity we get to learn more helps us do a better job of connecting people to the city they live in."
This project has helped to deepen this ongoing commitment. We know we've got a long way to go, and every opportunity we get to learn more helps us do a better job of connecting people to the city they live in," she told NITV.
The importance of these influential magazines deciding to focus their May issues on Indigenous issues and peoples cannot be understated. Not only for tourists looking to gain a sense of the cultural life of our city, this is something that locals need to be reminded of also. In a country still trying to find its way in terms of its past and the current realities for Indigenous peoples, for myself and Jacob Boehme the guest editor in Melbourne to be able to curate these issues from an Indigenous perspective hopefully sparks new ideas, insights and understanding for non-Indigenous peoples.
The Deadly Sydney and Deadly Melbourne special editions of Time Out magazine and are out now.