Heleana talks about racism (2:46)

One community I felt uncomfortable, I felt racism again. I felt racism. With Batchelor (Area School) I thought,  I felt self-conscious there but it was the language that I didn’t understand but when I did go to another community in Arnhem Land, I felt racism then and I couldn’t understand. I felt, I didn’t know what I was doing wrong.  I, you know, speak the same language but it was tribe different. I could understand what they was talking about and they kept telling me that I was different, I didn’t come from there. I had to go back where I come from. I’m like, “Well, I thought this is, you know, same area we come from. I speak the same language and we all mix in here. I’ve got my brother. He’s the same colour like you but I’m lighter. I’ve got a grandmother the same colour like me and my mother’s dark, but we all speak the same language.” Couldn’t understand. And yet...

What was the problem?

I think it was the colour of my skin. Maybe because I thought as well as a challenge that they will be better than them and smarter than them and learning – I’ve known two worlds, two cultures – one Bininj culture, which is Aboriginal culture and the other one is you know Balanda culture. And maybe where I come from as well is a bigger community, different tribes, many tribes and all live together. Maybe something that happened at that community that no one accept, having people going in – well Stolen Generation, going there. Maybe they haven’t gone over,  forgot about that. It felt, you know, somebody else coming in, taking over the country where they all have self conscious about someone taking over their tribe and all that and mixed breeding and all that. Maybe they had some issues with that as well with them. And maybe they thought I have the same colour like them, they thought maybe I was the same – which I wasn’t. I come from Arnhem Land. I knew where I come from. I spoke language, I knew who my mother is, my father, my grandfather, my grandmother, my brothers, my sisters, you know. I couldn’t understand that.