Civic Participation In Australia

1498 Words6 Pages
Indigenous rights are a prominent topic in Australian society, constantly undergoing debate within the public sphere. The divide between White and Indigenous Australians has been an ever-present issue in society since the settling of white man on Australian territory. These vast inequalities caused by a range of social issues have subsequently contributed to a lack of civic participation from the Indigenous community within Australian society. Stan Grant’s 2015 speech at the final IQ2 debate draws attention to racial issues present in modern Australian society, which hinder Indigenous Australians’ ability to fully participate and engage in political matters.

Indigenous Australian, journalist and television reporter Stan Grant addresses the
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A result of his speech primarily reaching these communities through a medium of social media. It is evident that Indigenous individuals are engaging and actively using technology and social media despite locational isolation as evidence demonstrates “…most remote Indigenous adults 45 years of age or younger have grown up with fairly constant exposure to western media…” (Kral 2010, p. 2). This exposure to the media has consequently removed social barriers whilst providing a form of communication enabling active engagement within society. Social media has provided the Indigenous community with a voice that was previously unavailable, with its expansive networks enabling messages to become widespread. Thus delivering a sense of inclusion and the ability to participate has been enhanced through the use of online media and communication. Engagement with political matters has become increasingly attainable as “people express their political beliefs on Facebook through various means, including membership in ‘groups’ or the support of ‘causes’” (Petray 2011, p. 933). Demonstrating the benefits of this medium, which could lead to potential change and increased civic participation from the Indigenous community in the future as well as engaging the youth. Similarly the concept of “celebrity politics” (Loader, Vromen & Xenos 2015, p. 1) being the increased use of social media particularly Twitter by politicians, may change the way Indigenous people actively participate in society. Platforms such as Twitter have given this community the ability to have their opinions heard by a mass audience, including politicians due to the affordances of these websites such as direct messaging, sharing, hash tagging and
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