The Front Line

I’m Michael I’m 20 years old I come from out bush A small town in North West New South Wales
called Collarenebri I’m a Gomeroi man Finishing school was a bumpy road but I made
it through They say education is the key but they keep
changing the locks I’ve got a lot of questions What’s next Where do I start Is it even worth it I mean what do I study any way Am I worth it My name is Jackie Burke I’m 25 years old And I’m a Kamilaroi woman from Collarenebri
too I’m a first year student Currently enrolled at Charles Sturt University
in Bathurst And I love it I went in blind I took a risk I left country I jumped in the deep end University isn’t easy Not only academically but socially I found it really hard at first People judge you when you’re black I could have drown But I chose to swim I found a place where I felt at home A safe place With support with strength with courage You can do anything you want I’m a HD getting freestyle swimming Gold medal winning hard hitting Deadly black sister My name is Isaac Nowland I’m 23 years old and I’m still learning about
where I come from I don’t have a big community I never really have But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing It all comes down to choice It’s hard to lead the way when you’re searching
for direction People even judge you when you’re white I’m proud of my Indigenous heritage But the truth is sometimes you need to help
yourself To help others And that’s why I’m here My name’s Michelle Miller The call me Eminem Nah gammin I’m a Biripi woman from Laurieton Up near Port Macquarie Salt water country I’m a mother of 5 a wife and now a full time
student And a rapper Nah gammin again I’ve always wanted to go to university To better myself To break the cycle And to show my children that you are not restricted
by your age Or by the colour of your skin It’s never too late It all comes down to choice And for me Quitting is not an option I have to make sacrifices I have to be strong For my family and for my people Someone’s got to lead Why can’t it be me My name’s Marley Blair I’m a 23 year old Kamilaroi man From Tingha in New South Wales Tingha’s a tiny town I loved growing up in the bush with my family
and my mob We’ve got a real sense of belonging A connection that’s hard to put into words
sometimes But the bottom line is this Only 40% of our mob finish high school 7 out of 10 of our young people will end up
in gaol There’s only 1 way to make change for my people And that’s to do it yourself We need people on the front line We’re not just another statistic It’s black and white And we’re living proof We are proud of you young’uns I don’t think you realise when you first embark
on your journey That you are our salvation As we are yours Remember all you need is the gum leaves and
the spirits And you will come to understand yourself The circle is always open for you Your dreaming is only a reach away

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