We asked our Gen Z audience on Instagram how much they know about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture – 55% said that they only know what was taught in high school, and 16% said they don’t know much at all.
80% of respondents told us that they’d love to learn more about our First Nations’ culture. They also advised how they, on an individual level, show their support and appreciation, and gave us insight into what more can be done to promote diversity and recognition.
With the support from your teens and Skills NSW, we have put together a list of the things they can do to make a positive difference for our First Nations people, along with how you can get behind and support the innovative opportunities available.
- Becoming aware of correct and respectful terminology
According to Narragunnawali, using ‘First Nations’ is generally acceptable and should always be pluralised. This term respectfully encompasses the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and identities. Showing support through self-reflection, education, understanding cultural context and relationship building is an awesome way to make a difference. Every First Nations persons and communities stories are not the same, so it is best to be mindful of the best ways to show your support while being inclusive.
- Recognising the land you’re on
Whether it’s through an Acknowledgement of Country or self-taught education, it’s fundamental to know the land you reside on. The non-Indigenous perception of land goes far deeper than our everyday living environment – it relates to the culture, identity, language, spirituality, social connection and way of life to many Indigenous people. It shows that they understand the importance of land and how it’s significant to the people of Australia today.
- Check the source, ask questions and educate yourself
We advise your teens to engage with Aboriginal media companies. Be open-minded. Ask questions and seek permission to vocalise and advocate while doing their part in being supportive. We encourage them to ask who is publishing or writing content – are they virtue signalling, or a genuine ally? Self-education is the first step. It’s a journey. It might be a massive shift to what you’ve known previously, but as long as you’re learning something new, you’re making a positive difference.
- Support First Nations suppliers and businesses
Supporting First Nations small businesses at the heart of their work is massive. Seeing something that represents identity, culture and history through art is a beautiful thing and should always be empowered. Here are some First Nations people doing some awesome work, suggested by our younger audience.
Clothing The Gaps
- Finding opportunities and spreading awareness
Spreading awareness around the opportunities available for First Nations people is key in developing future programs and assistance. The Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Grant is an opportunity that promotes vocational outcomes for Aboriginal people, whether that’s through employment, skill development or school-based apprenticeships and traineeships. Elsa Dixon played a key role in improving social equality for Aboriginal people in NSW in the 1900s, and it’s extremely key that we shine a light on these opportunities available!
There is a massive push from government bodies to support First Nations people, but with your support, allyship and awareness, the above are just a few ways your teens can make a positive difference!
For more information, downloadables and contact info, take a look over at our Connect Page.