Georgia Mae Capocchi-Hunter is a proud Wurundjeri, Ngurai illum wurrung and Italian woman born and raised on Naarm.
Georgia Mae has been writing for Deady Story since 2017 with pieces such as Self-Determination – A Youth’s Perspective and The Matriarchs in my Life, she also writes on her personal blog Lil Koori Girl. Georgia Mae is currently working for VACCA in the projects team.
Georgia has been dancing with the Djirri Djirri dance group since 2017 and has been an executive member of the Koorie Youth Council since 2016. Her culture and community are very important to her and play a large role in her life and the shaping of her identity.
Georgia is a passionate writer who aims to educate her audience about equality and the rights of all people, especially women and youth.
Deadly Story welcomes Georgia Mae as she shares her thoughts on 2019's NAIDOC theme of 'Voice, Treaty, Truth.'
What does it mean for the Aboriginal Community to have a voice in our modern society?
I think it is so important to have a voice in modern/mainstream society.
At the moment we are separate from mainstream, if there is an Aboriginal person on mainstream telly their character arc is usually the fact that they are Aboriginal, the same goes for radio and movies and even politics. We are usually there to prove that something is diverse without holding any importance or respect from our peers/audience. This doesn’t mean that we should ignore our Aboriginality in these cases but quite the opposite.
We are usually there to prove that something is diverse without holding any importance or respect from our peers/audience
I think we need Aboriginal representation that explores our history, our culture, our languages and our diversity and doesn’t just focus on the angry blak woman stereotype or the funny blak friend.
It is time we were able to occupy the mainstream space as individuals with stories to tell instead of the token Aboriginal people love to make us. When we become a normal part of life and not this niche group of people who only appear in NAIDOC Week then we will begin to progress as a nation.
It is time we were able to occupy the mainstream space as individuals with stories to tell instead of the token Aboriginal people love to make us
What are your ideas for how the Aboriginal voice in this country can be given a greater platform?
I think non-Aboriginal and non-Torres Strait Islander people should be promoting and sharing our stories, our art, our history with their friends and their groups. I also think it is important for white people and non-First Nations people to amplify our voices and pass the mic over to us so we can speak for ourselves
It is important for white people and non-First Nations people to amplify our voices and pass the mic over to us so we can speak for ourselves
I think focusing on our history and our culture in schools is important and I think more comprehensive cultural awareness training in workplaces will also help.
We as First Nations people are constantly trying to be recognised and heard by mainstream society and it is exhausting and emotional draining. It’s time that mainstream society put the work in as well.
What does treaty mean to you?
Treaty, first and foremost is about self-determination, it must take into account our Communities’ beliefs, Lore and morals and must allow us to be in control of our people and our future. Treaty should allow us to be in charge of our future and should give us a say in the future of Australia as a whole.
Treaty, first and foremost is about self-determination
Treaty is also about the recognition of our sovereignty as Fist Nations People and the acknowledgement that our sovereignty was never ceded and that this land is stolen. There needs to be major reparations for the loss of parts of our culture, languages and lives and our history must be the focal point of our education.
I also believe that Treaty must represent EVERYONE, all nations, all generations and all people. There needs to be a specific Elders voice and a specific youth voice within the governing of Treaty. As it is our younger and future generations that will most likely live under a treaty – it is their voices that must be heard and their voices that must be given the most weight, with the support of our Community and our Elders.
I also believe that Treaty must represent EVERYONE, all nations, all generations and all people
What aspects do you think should be included in the conversation about treaty?
I believe everything that can affect our Community should be covered in Treaty. We need to be in charge of our land, our cultures, our languages etc. For too long non-Aboriginal and non-Torres Strait Islander people have been in charge of our affairs. They have decided what information was important to share and what wasn’t, they have decided what land belongs to whom and what deserves to be protected and what doesn’t. This cannot and should not continue.
We need to be in charge of our land, our cultures, our languages
What is a fact or truth about Aboriginal history and current experience that you think should be widely known?
Something that I feel is often ignored or unknown is how diverse we are as a culture. Not all blackfellas share the same language, beliefs, cultural practices and Lore. What is acceptable in some Mobs is not acceptable in others and you can’t just pick any blackfella when you need something and hope for the best.
It is important to know whose land you stand on and ensure you adhere to their cultural beliefs and be willing to adapt when you move on to someone else’s Country.
It is important to know whose land you stand on and ensure you adhere to their cultural beliefs
Not only is aboriginal cultural vastly different to the culture of the Torres Strait Islands but I as a Wurundjeri woman would not know the first thing about a mob from Far North Queensland and vice versa. We are not encyclopaedias of everything blak.
We are not encyclopaedias of everything blak
What do you think needs to be done to make these truths known?
It’s repetitive but I believe education is the most important thing. However this education cannot end when people leave school, it must continue into the workforce and into everyone’s daily lives. There is so much to learn about our culture and its diversity that you will never know everything.
Education cannot end when people leave school, it must continue into the workforce and into everyone’s daily lives
This education will not matter though if people do not respect our culture. Stereotypes need to be broken down so that people can understand that we are this alien race they will never understand, we are human, we bleed red just like them and our culture and our history deserves respect and recognition.