Wednesday, July 4, 2012


 The National Centre of Excellence in the heart of Redfern is usually home to energetic local folk getting fit through zumba, free-weights, boxing and swimming. But this week - NAIDOC Week  – there’s a whole new energy buzzing through the complex.

On Tuesday, I was thrilled to be in conversation again with renowned feminist, author and journalist Anne Summers, as we shared with local audiences the issues and impacts of my recent book Am I Black Enough For You? Having had such phenominal feedback from our Sydney Writers’ Festival event in May, and many expressing their disappointment in missing the conversation, both Anne and I were pleased to be part of this special NAIDOC event held in the Centre's dance and group fitness studio. We were all collectively exercising our minds that day!

I do need to clarify my comment above about ‘local audiences’ because within that audience we were privileged to have the Honourable Governor of NSW, Her Excellency Marie Bashir and her family. Also there was Dr HelenSzoke, the Race Discrimination Commissioner and most importantly my mum, Elsie. (That’s Mum above in the middle with the Governor, Aunty Ali and Valerie from the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry).

For me, the opportunity to encourage the discussion about identity among local Indigenous peoples (one-fifth of the room were Indigenous, coming from legal, arts, youth policy and other backgrounds) and others wanting to engage in an intelligent conversation, was a significant way to celebrate NAIDOC Week.

With Jason Glanville, CEO of the NCIE and below with the lovely Bianca Roberts!

I’d like to acknowledge the hard work of NCIE CEO, JasonGlanville and his team including Bianca Roberts for coordinating the event, which also brought to the conversation members of the Commonwealth Bank, ING Direct, South Sydney Business Chamber, Gleebooks, the local literary community, and others.

For those who missed it you can tune into ABC NAIDOC for the broadcast at 1pm Thursday, July 5. 

Happy NAIDOC Week everyone, how are you celebrating?

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