“I can't describe the feeling of having to prove my Aboriginality”

Dancer Ray Kelly

Am I lucky, or unlucky? The ability to produce evidence of Aboriginal descent depends on something out of your control: how your family was affected by colonialism,” writes IndigenousX host, Emily Poelina-Hunter. "I use the word “lucky” to describe my ability to obtain my confirmation of Aboriginality letter, but I think I just haven’t found the right word to describe my feelings about having to prove my identity to the university where I work."


“I have an academic position that was advertised to Indigenous applicants only. I’ve always identified as Aboriginal, but in applying for the position I was asked to supply a confirmation letter that relies on a three-part “test”. ... "

 Emily Poelina-Hunter is a Nyikina woman belonging to Marrdoowarra country in Western Australia’s Kimberley area. Emily has spent most of her life living in Aotearoa, [New Zealand] and moved back to Australia in 2010. Emily currently teaches Indigenous Studies at RMIT University, Melbourne.

Dance is more than moving to a rhythm. It is an anchor to identity

“Dancing has opened many doors for me. I have travelled the world sharing the energy of my peoples and learnt many lessons from other cultures,” writes Ray Kelly for IndigenousX'

"I now see that Goori in Get Up and Dance is not only my father or myself. Goori is all Aboriginal people who need an anchor to their identity.

"No longer a child or a teenager, I look to the future and see the lives of my three daughters, my nephews and my niece. I already see the emu with firecracker feet, I see the eagles reaching for the sun, I see the journey of a generation who through the power of dance
will one day stand alone and be proud to say I got up and danced."

Ray Kelly is an Indigenous dancer.


Zach's Ceremony review – an affecting portrait of growing up Indigenous in two worlds.

“Observant and low-key, Aaron Petersen’s coming-of-age documentary follows one boy’s journey through Indigenous and non-Indigenous rites of passage.”

"At times, the modest look and feel of Zach’s Ceremony errs towards a well-scrubbed home movie, oscillating from exotic to urbane as the subject maintains his foot in both worlds.

“For Zach, the challenge of becoming a man in both societies is about more than culture or heritage; it comes down to the question of what it means to be an Indigenous Australian in the new millennium.

“The film gets better as it goes along, as if the subjects became increasingly comfortable with the presence of cameras and crew.

“By the end I didn’t want to say goodbye to Zach, imagining a 7 Up!-style program intermittently returning to his life."

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