'What percent Aboriginal are you,?'
'You don't look like an Aborigine. '
You've done really well for an Aboriginal.
'You're not like those other ones - you're one of the good ones.
'You wouldn't have had it hard growing up.'
'I'm darker than you are.'
'Are you really Aboriginal?'
'So do you get all the benefits?'
'All Aborigines are angry.'
'Get over it, it happened two hundred years ago. No one alive today was there.'
'I'm not racist, I have an Aboriginal friend.'
These are the phrases I hear constantly. I'm an Aboriginal woman, I'm a Koori woman. I'm not a percentage, I'm not pan Aboriginal and I'm not an Aborigine. My skin colour does not dictate my connection to country, my attachment to culture or my understanding of who I am. I'm not your ever-available resource to learn about culture, but being sick of ignorance I'll probable be inclined to share what I know. I'm not an expert. I know my life, my mob and my stories, but I don't speak for the diversity of Aboriginal Australia. I do get all the benefits, if you're referring to belonging to the longest-living culture in the world, a culture of beauty and wonder that has guided my identity in every facet of the world. But no, I don't get more Centrelink study allowance than you. I haven't done well for an Aborigine: I've done well for any twenty-two-year-old who has overcome hardship.' (Introduction)