How Did Rob Riley Influence Australia

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Australian History has been notably marked with themes of conflict among; culture, race and nation since the beginning of time. Similar to many other culturally diverse countries, Australia has slowly become two distinctly different races, disjointedly connected to create ‘one culture’ (Ward, R. 2017). Along this journey, there have been various significant political figures contributing to the recognition and progression of Indigenous issues within Australia. Namely one of the most determined and instrumental political warriors within the local and national Indigenous political domain is Rob Riley. His powerful political journey spanned over a time span of twenty-six years, where his influence towards change was notably immeasurable. Riley’s …show more content…

Eight months following his birth, Rob was relocated by decision of the state to Sister Kates Children’s Home; a government establishment designed to strip all young ‘half cast’ aboriginals of their indigenous identity and cultural connection. Through a mere chance of events at age ten Robert was informed that his mother, who he knew nothing about at this point, was still alive. Following a long three-year period, Rob was finally reunited with his family for the first time (Beresford, Q, 2006). Just like his mother and grandmother, Rob lived an uncertain life dictated by the hands of government authorities; with a series of events piecing together to shape his story. Even though his life can be seen to be laced with a theme of tragedy, Rob rose above all odds and social injustices to pave the way towards an influential and prominent future and …show more content…

He was strong, determined, bold and passionate, yet irrespective still struggled with his own internal views of self. The denial of social justice, the lack of belonging and the feeling that he was not accepted as being black, but also not considered to be white, ultimately lead to Rob’s unravelling. Overtime it became evident that his struggle with issues of identity were never to be resolved. (Wyatt, B. 2016). In a speech delivered by Rob Riley at the 1995 APS Annual Conference he made bold political statement through poetry, offering insight towards the dark inner workings of his own personal life, not just that of the broader political scope. Riley stated; “A white man’s school, what are our children taught? Are they told of the battles our people fought? Are they told how our people died? Are they told why our people cried? Australia’s true history is never read, but the black man keeps it in his head.” (Riley, R.

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