Thursday 2 November
5.30 pm - 6.30 pm (NZ Time), 3:30pm - 4:30pm (Melbourne Time)
Wellington (Pōneke), Aotearoa
The zoom link is here:
This speech was originally delivered at the Sydney Law School for the annual Wingarra Djuraliyin public lecture, showcasing Indigenous perspectives on law, and held to mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, celebrated annually on 9 August.
The lecture is titled One more broken silence: an Indigenous academic encounters racism in the law school 2023:
In this lecture, I question why despite being white-qualified, having done an LLB, LLM, PhD, I am only seen as ‘the culture guy’ and only respected enough to do ‘smoking and acknowledgements’, why myself and other Blak academics continue to be subjected to casual and pervasive racisms as an everyday occurrence, and why some of our most prestigious academic institutions continue to be complicit in perpetrating and condoning racism despite all the rhetoric about standing for equity and justice.
The toxicity of the academy and whether it’s safe for Indigenous staff and students needs to be confronted. It needs to be highlighted that they often are not. First Nations academics often ask each other if it’s all worthwhile. As a country, we need to acknowledge that the places settlers/non-Indigenous Australians have built for themselves were established by, and are sustained by, racial violence. Institutions can be unrelenting in their viciousness towards sovereign Black bodies, and this viciousness includes the silence of colleagues, their privilege and their ‘unconscious biases’. As Richard Flanagan acknowledges ‘Spend some real time with Aboriginal people and you’ll see how they are still made to live in another country, and it is frequently a cruel, pitiless and brutally destructive world.’
So why am I still here? Why do I, and other Blak academics continue to subject ourselves to the viciousness and racial violence? For the same reason I call it out in this lecture – As a proud Larrakia, Wadjigan and Central Arrernte man I put up with the racism because of what I hear constantly from our people on the front-line advocating and delivering services trying their best in a racist world. If I can educate future leaders to respect my people, I will. My ancestors and elders have faced adversity, so that I can achieve, it’s my turn.
Dr Eddie Cubillo delivering a previous speech in front of the Melbourne Law School sign