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Watch some of the anonymous Gari Yala survey responses being read aloud in the video below

Read transcript

Speaker 1 (00:00):

"You're too white to be Aboriginal too pretty". "You don't have the nose". "You must only be a little bit".

Nareen Young (00:07):

Gari Yala, Speak the Truth: The experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers in Australia. Presented by Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research and Diversity Council Australia. We asked over 1000 employed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to submit their stories of the workplace anonymously.

Speaker 2 (00:34):

"When I've shared my identity with people in the workplace I've received such remarks as, 'you've only got the job just because you're black".

Speaker 3 (00:41):

"What part?" "Who in your family's Indigenous?" "What percentage are you?" "You don't look it at all?" "Why would you even identify as Aboriginal?"

Speaker 4 (00:51):

"I'm black. My skin colour is black, my looks, my style - it's all black". "Do you think I get the choice to identify?"

Speaker 3 (00:58):

"When I was a student nurse, I was told by senior management not to identify as Aboriginal. I was told to identify as another nationality".

Speaker 2 (01:08):

"I've been told 'you Abos, get everything for free'. I've even been asked, 'How'd you get this job?".

Speaker 5 (01:14):

"Staff don't know how to deal with or talk about Aboriginal issues. So they say nothing at all. They'd rather talk about the death of George Floyd in America, but not acknowledge what happens here in Australia".

Nareen Young (01:26):

Hi, I'm Nareen Young from Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research.

Lisa Annese (01:31):

And I'm Lisa Annese from the Diversity Council Australia.

Nareen Young (01:35):

This video is part of a project called Gari Yala, which means truth telling in the Wiradjuri language.

Lisa Annese (01:40):

It's the first time an ongoing national assessment of Indigenous work experience has been established using the stories and the real life experiences of Indigenous people across the country.

Nareen Young (01:53):

The project enables Indigenous people to speak truth to workplace experiences.

Lisa Annese (01:59):

For more information on this research and to learn about how to make your workplace psychologically safe for Indigenous employees, please go to

Nareen Young (02:07):

Make your workplace a culturally safe and inclusive place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Gari Yala project was proudly sponsored by the National Australia Bank and Coles.

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