If you believe your child is in immediate danger or a life-threatening situation, call emergency services on triple zero – 000.
Under our legislation, we don’t investigate individual children’s and families’ circumstances. If you suspect a child in Queensland is experiencing harm or neglect, please contact the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs.

Amplify Blog - What is it like to grow up mixed in Australia?

Skip to main content

Amplify Blog - What is it like to grow up mixed in Australia?

Amplify Blog

The below is a blog by Maddie, a QFCC Youth Advocate.


Well… let me tell you.

When I was young, I was incredibly oblivious to the world I was brought into and how it would perceive me. I remember at four years old, loving the idea of having what I called my ‘black’ grandma and my ‘white’ grandma. In the eyes of a four-year-old child, I really didn’t think much of this but rather saw the world so simply and loved both of them so dearly – to me they were equal. This led me to conversations about growing up at around eight years old with my peers, when we would make our family trees in class and I’d talk about my ‘black’ family and my ‘white’ family. At this point in my life, this was the beginning of the conversation of, “but you look white, you are not Indigenous”. The words of these young kids began many years of feeling ashamed of my cultural identity – frankly, it made me feel like I wasn’t black enough but also I wasn’t white enough.

In my teens, I felt incredibly ashamed to identify with my heritage. The “but you look white” turned into “oh really? What percentage are you?”, “you’re probably something silly like 5%”. This was the beginning of experiencing racism at its finest and it was incredibly confronting. As a mixed Aboriginal woman, I feel the need to prove my cultural heritage every single day when I shouldn’t have to. No one will ever ask you, “oh, what percentage English are you?” and claim that you do not belong. This confrontation really broke the innocent viewpoint in my childhood of knowing my cultural heritage and as my mum always says, “being deadly and owning who you are”.

The burst of innocence to the racism in Australia, opened my eyes up to the issue of how uneducated society is. As the common saying goes, “it happened 200 years ago, get over it”, I continue to shutter every time I hear this. However, no one wants to be the angry black woman society hates and talks over. Let alone, the angry black woman that everyone silences because she’s mixed. This started my work in advocacy where as an educated Indigenous woman, I want to elevate the voices of other mob by providing them with a platform. I owe this all to my beautiful grandma – a proud Gunggari and Kalkadoon woman – who I look up to every single day.

When yarning with my grandma, I learnt about the way of life for her that wasn’t 200 years ago. My grandma having witnessed family members subjected to the stolen generation, segregation and a lack of human rights. Yet, this woman who has seen the forefront of a racist country, is the most loving person you will ever meet. This woman worked and sacrificed aspects of her life to break a cycle and allow her kids and grandchildren a path. She speaks with such love and care, even to those who have hurt her. Whilst, she has every right to hate the people and world she grew up with, she speaks with passion and love for a better future. She is the woman I want to be.

As I’ve recently hit my 20’s, I look back at my younger self and wish I could hold her and protect her from the racism she would experience. However, I will not let the experiences of a lack of education in society allow a place of negativity in my life. Rather, I want to use education as my tool and the experience of my ancestors to shape how I view the world and influence others.

Society will always taunt me with those questions around my cultural heritage however, I always will be a Gunggari and Kalkadoon woman. That is something that they will never take away from me.