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Time Out Melbourne magazine

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This month, Time Out Melbourne is co-edited by Jacob Boehme.

Wominjeka. Welcome to the Deadly Issue and to our beautiful City of Melbourne. Like many Aboriginal peoples across our country, I wasn’t born or raised on my traditional lands of the Narangga and Kaurna nations in South Australia. I was born in the inner city suburb of Fitzroy, historically an important meeting place for many of our mob, and was raised on the other side of the river in Newport, on Kulin country, Bunjil’s country. I call Melbourne my home.

As creative director of Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival, along with Yirramboi’s Elders, Blak Critics and the Time Out crew, we present for you a taste of Aboriginal Melbourne: its history and languages, and through our Deadliest Melburnians, a snapshot of the diversity and brilliance of local contemporary warriors shaping the economy and culture of the world’s most livable city.

This month’s edition also celebrates National Reconciliation Week 2017 (May 27-June 3), which marks two significant milestones in the journey of a nation we now call Australia.

Fifty years ago, on May 27 1967, over 90 per cent of Australians voted to recognize us in the national census. Up until that point, we weren’t counted as citizens. For most of you reading this, that’s not that long ago – only one or two generations away.

The second significant milestone (June 3) is the 25th anniversary of the landmark Mabo decision, which legally recognised our relationship to country that existed prior to colonization and that still exists today. We celebrate Uncle Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo’s well-documented and hard-won battle for our sovereign rights to land and country as First Peoples. And yet, the battle’s still not over. We stand on this day, and fight today, not only for our sovereignty but for the environmental futures of your children too.

Language and knowledge have power. Let these next few pages, with the words of Yirramboi’s Elders and Blak Critics, empower you to listen to a place and know its story: one that carries the dreams of 1,000 generations who walked this land before you, and one that holds the talents and hopes of those that stand beside you. Jacob Boehme

Jacob Boehme is a Melbourne born and based artist of Aboriginal heritage, from the Narangga (Yorke Peninsula) and Kaurna (Adelaide Plains) nations of South Australia. He has a 20-year history working in cultural maintenance, research and revival of traditional dance with Elders and youth from urban and remote Indigenous communities across Australia. He is the creative director of Yirramboi First Nations Art Festival (May 5-14), and combines dance, puppetry and playwriting to create multi-disciplinary theatre, dance and ceremony.

Cover art: ‘Kulin Mural’, Josh Muir. Commissioned by Melbourne Central. Courtesy of Josh Muir and MARS Gallery.

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