Video: Acknowledgement of Country

It’s NAIDOC Week – the yearly celebration and acknowledgement of our Indigenous history, culture and peoples. Held in the week following the first Sunday of July (7-14 July 2024), it is a time for all of us to respectfully engage with culture and conversation, to listen and learn about the oldest, continuous living culture on Earth. This year’s theme is “Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud and Proud“, embodies the passionate spirit and strength of Indigenous communities. It encourages and empowers us to “ignite the flame of culture” and stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, rights and advocacy. It is an opportunity to amplify voices that have been silenced throughout colonised history.

Storytelling is very important in Indigenous communities, serving as a form of cultural continuation and resistance to colonial erasure. Knowledge, language and history has been passed down for generations through oral storytelling, sustaining community and tradition. These stories offer a way to make sense of the world and establish their own values and beliefs. Storytelling is a tool for understanding and wisdom, nurturing relationships with one another and the land.

Sharing experiences and knowledge is also important within the disabled community. Storytelling allows for advocacy, empowerment and solidarity, illuminating lived experiences and resisting stereotypes and discrimination.

This NAIDOC Week, WWDA wants to uplift and platform Indigenous voices, sharing the intersectional diversity of our community and disability. In line with this year’s Disability Pride Month theme, “We Want a Life Like Yours”, we want to share stories from our Indigenous members, ensuring their lived experiences of disability and culture are told in their own words and voices. Through collective efforts, we can create space and visibility for First Nations voices and stories, so they can be understood and valued across Australia.

These stories may be distressing. If you need support, please contact:

  • 13 YARN: 13 92 76 (24/7 Aboriginal crisis hotline)
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14 (24/7 crisis hotline)
  • National Relay Service: 1800 555 677 (for hearing and speech impaired disabilities)
  • Translating and Interpreting Service: 13 14 50 (for speech disabilities or English as a second language)


[Image Description: A selfie of Renay, an Indigenous woman wearing a pink tshirt, and black rimmed glasses. She has rainbow coloured shoulder length hair.]

Learning to Lead

Renay Barker-Mulholland

“I naively didn’t recognise the leadership I showed throughout these times, not until I had the benefit of hindsight.”

[Image Description: A tilted selfie photo of Lily, an Indigenous woman with lightly tanned skin and long wavy brown hair below her shoulders with blue ends. She is looking at the camera and smiling, wearing a white thin-strapped singlet and cultural jewellery and ochre paint. An Aboriginal flag in a heart shape is painted on her upper arm.]

Birra nghinu guyungan (Back Yourself)

Lily Hodgson

CW: Contains strong language.
“There is no more powerful feeling than unapologetically being yourself.”

[Image: Aboriginal artwork of a prison cell door with black hands holding the bars.]

The Waiting Room and Hep C

Tabitha Lean / Budhin Mingaan

CW: Mentions carceral violence, sexual violence, suicide and strong language.
“This is my reality … A reality that forces women to gather up all of their ashes and make sweet poetry from it through both our activism and resistance.”

[Image Description: A photo of Cheryl, an Indigenous woman with pale skin and curly brown hair below her shoulders. She is standing sideways, looking at the camera with a closed mouth smile. She is wearing a black top, standing in front of a garden with bushes and trees in the background.]

Cheryl’s Story


CW: Mentions violence, heritage and trauma.
“I am sharing my story because despite my struggles, I am proud to live as a black Aboriginal woman with a disability and I want others like me to know they are not alone.”

[Image Description: A selfie photo of Tess, an Indigenous woman with pale skin and short straight pink hair with brown roots. She is wearing a black top,  silver necklace and a silver nose ring.]

Life is Not a Fairytale


CW: Mentions violence and feelings of depression.
“By surrender, I don’t mean give up. Quite the opposite.”

[Image Description: An artwork of a pink person in a blue wheelchair is featured. The person is holding a ball of dark space, with yellow stars and moons. They have yellow flowers on their head and no hair. The person is placed under an archway, with different colour stripes, including black, blue with a pink wavy line, yellow and a bubbly maroon stripe. The image background is blue, with uppercase black text at the top that reads: "Imagining disability justice" with a black heart and star. A pink banner at the bottom reads "3CR Community radio".]

Dreaming Up: Yarning Sick Disabled Realities

3CR Community Radio, hosted by Elena McDonald

“We’re talking about the realities of being disabled and sick within the colony from the perspective of mob…”

Interested in sharing your lived experience or story? Check out Neve or Our Site to find out more.