About this Episode

Starting in 2019, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advocates began an ambitious two year effort to flip the script on sovereignty, self-determination and justice for First Nations. Now, after comprehensive communications training and robust messaging research, campaigners are making new gains on land rights and tackling damage to the climate.

In a country where the most important national holiday, January 26th or “Australia Day,” marks the onset of invasion and genocide of the native population, Aboriginal leaders recognized they needed to unpack and reframe status quo tropes. Adapting curriculum from a Global Messaging Programme that Anat had created, they trained three cohorts of advocates, confronted dominant “deficit” discourse, and generated new narratives based on extensive analytic and empirical research. 

In this final episode of the season, we pull back the curtain on how reframing, message testing and implementation of new narratives gets done. And we hear how this work done for and by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communicators is changing how Australians perceive these communities and with it enabling long overdue recognition not merely of rights but of the leadership of First Nations on protecting our environment.

Read Passing the Message Stick: A guide for changing the story on self determination and justice

Read the Transcript

Meet Our Interviewees

Larissa Baldwin

Larissa Baldwin is a Widjabul Wia-bul / Bundjalung woman and currently First Nations Justice Director at GetUp. She dedicates her life to fighting for First Nations justice and Self-Determination. From staunch grassroots resistance, to building the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, to starting First Nations Justice campaigning at GetUp, Larissa has a passion for mentoring young people, and crafting brilliant campaign strategies.

Kelly Williams

Kelly Williams is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) first Indigenous & Diversity HR Case Advocate and provides case management approach for Indigenous and diverse employees. She will also drive culture change within the ABC around systems/processes and workplace practices to ensure there are pathways to senior editorial and content making roles for Indigenous and diverse staff at the national broadcaster.

Kelly has been with the ABC for over 30 years. She began her career as a leave clerk, spent a decade in Human Resources then moved on to become the founding digital producer three of the ABC’s most popular national programs.  She most recently produced two one-hour ABC TV specials that focused on providing opportunities for ABC Indigenous employees to tell stories from their communities.  Kelly is also the manager of the ABC’s first Diversity Advocates Network and Co-Lead of the ABC and First Nations Media Australia strategic partnership.

Kelly loves parkour and fishing, the two pursuits her sons are very keen on. She is also a mad science fiction fan who fell instantly in love with Baby Yoda and is impatiently awaiting the third season of The Mandalorian and Denis Villeneuve ‘Dune’ feature film which, please god, has to be better than the first movie.

Larissa Baldwin speaking on climate change. Credit: @SenatorThorpe