I wanted to use this post as an opportunity to discuss the representation of Indigenous Australian women within the mediascape. I want to note that whilst I do feel there is space to invest more exposure of Indigenous women into Australia’s media, and that little effort has been made to fill this gap in the past, I do feel our industry is on the right path to addressing the issue.
The beautiful Samantha Harris on the cover of Vogue Australia in 2010
In ‘White Australia has a blackface history’, Maxine addresses some hard hitting issues based on Indigenous Australians’ and some negative experiences these individuals had faced in Australia in relation to representation and treatment. Reading stories of these occurrences does put a negative spin on the representation of Indigenous Australian women in Australia’s media environment.
However, if we are talking about the very ‘current’ mediascape- I would like to address the fact that just this weekend I watched music artist Jessica Mauboy perform in the Eurovision Semi-finals and was extremely proud to see her represent Australia. The song she performed is titled ‘Sea of Flags’- thus the title of my post. Also just last week, I finished watching the first season of The Face Australia, which included a pair of sisters from Perth, Kiara and Shenika, who were representing Indigenous Australian women.
This year in April, the very first Indigenous Australian Fashion Week took place, highlighting talented Indigenous Australians who work, design and model in the Australian Fashion Industry. The Founder of Indigenous Australian Fashion Week, Krystal Perkins, said that “the whole point of this Fashion Week is to encourage Indigenous economic development”.
Seeing Samantha Harris on the front cover of Vogue, Jessica Mauboy representing Australia on the Eurovision stage and the introduction of Indigenous Australian Fashion Week does give me hope of a brighter future for the exposure of Indigenous talent within Australia media- however, only the future will tell what is to come for the future of this industry, and what it will present us with.
Clarke, Maxine. (2010). ‘White Australia has a blackface history’. Overland. http://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-199/feature-maxine-clarke/. Accessed 14/5/2014