Kyralee Murphy-Edwards is a young Wakka Wakka and Yorta Yorta woman from Gippsland. Kyralee has been a participant in a number of Kalinya’s social media workshops, both in the regional town of Morewell and at the Korin Gamadji Institute through the Richmond Emerging Aboriginal Leaders (REAL) program. These workshops empower young Aboriginal people to use social media as a tool for positive self-representation and social activism.
What makes you proud to be an Aboriginal woman?
What makes me proud is my culture. I feel proud to embrace our cultural practices. Even though my Nan is a victim of the stolen generation policies, I can stand tall and know my roots and where I come from. That makes me prouder than anything.
Does this sense of pride influence your social media use?
I embrace my culture through social media by sharing the positive side of my community, breaking stereotypes and negative ideals that people have about us blackfullas.
It’s deadly to see others doing deadly things and supporting them.
Is social media an important tool for Aboriginal people to speak up on the issues important to them?
It’s hard to get our voices heard. I struggled in school being the only Aboriginal person in my class and having to defend my culture, so it’s good when we can talk about issues online and see great things happening for our mob. It’s important for non-Indigenous people to be able to read and hear our points of view. This kind of communication is so much easier than sitting down, speaking over each other and not acknowledging the other person’s opinion.
Is it important to have diverse images in the media?
It is important, because without it the mainstream media continues to produce material that says to their audiences that diversity – people with different skin tones or body shapes – are bad.