Young voices challenge negative perceptions on race

Following on from large-scale Black Lives Matter rallies in Australia earlier this year, The Healing Foundation has today launched the third podcast in its new series on intergenerational trauma and healing.

This latest episode explores how racism continues to impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 250 years after colonisation.

It features four young Indigenous people as they confront the negative perceptions, stereotypes and prejudice they have encountered growing up.

The Healing Foundation CEO Fiona Petersen said the latest Healing Our Way podcast highlights the importance of truth telling in breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma and enabling healing for young people and the nation more broadly.

“This year we’ve seen a mass, global movement to remind the world that having ownership of our history, being able to speak for ourselves, and being honest about all aspects of our past and how it’s led to our experiences now, are essential parts of the healing process,” Ms Petersen said.

“There is a lot of pressure on young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to constantly shake off the stereotypes and biases they are confronted with, and that adds another layer of complexity for those already dealing with the impacts of intergenerational trauma.

“I’m proud that our young people courageously confront negative perceptions and biases towards First Nations peoples. They’ve seen first-hand the impact of negative stereotypes on mental and other health outcomes, and it shouldn’t be accepted. 

Developed by 33 Creative in consultation with The Healing Foundation’s Youth Reference Group, episode three features Ellen Karimanovic, Luke Currie-Richardson, Libby Brown and Blayke Tatafu as they explore the passive and overt racism they continue to experience in everyday life.

Guests talk openly about the setbacks that can happen when, growing up, their encounters with racism were minimised or dismissed. Some of their comments were:

·         “We as people didn’t wake up one day with a good dose of trauma and grief and loss and drug and alcohol, family violence, child protection issues. It didn’t just happen. There was a journey, from invasion and colonisation, we got to where we’re at.”

·         “Opportunities like this (the podcast) to really speak that truth is so essential. And making sure that we are creating a better world for our future generations. I think that’s the biggest part of it all is looking towards the future and trying to make a better place for our young mob.”

·         “With young kids that I’ve worked with over the years, I’ve always said to them ‘never ever let anybody minimise, patronise and take away your own truth’, because it taught you who were … and even if you’re in a room full of people who reject you or try to resist your culture, what you bring is your truth. I always want them (kids) to remember their own self-worth.”

·         “I think (mental health) is a bit like living with family violence really. It puts us on high alert. We’re looking for it. I know our young people expect it. As a parent bringing up young people, I am arm wrestling. Do I tell them to prepare for it? And am I planning to teach them (about racism) or do I send them out unprepared?” 

“One of the issues is that if we’re going to deny the truth and yet what we see in our communities are the results of trauma and of the truth, you can’t address the outcome without being honest about the journey.”

You can listen to all three episodes now at The Healing Foundation website or via Spotify and iTunes.

The Healing Foundation produced this animation to help explain intergenerational trauma.

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to heal trauma caused by the widespread and deliberate disruption of populations, cultures and languages over 230 years. This includes specific actions like the forced removal of children from their families.

Media contact: Ben O’Halloran – 0474 499 911 or

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