Australia is a country that prides itself of being diverse, a concept that has seen the introduction of the term 'multiculturalism' in 1973 (Australian Immigration fact sheet 6). This subsequently brought about the end of the 'White Australian' policy, a policy that stated: "migrants should shed their cultures and languages and rapidly become indistinguishable from the host population" (ibid) and by so doing, creating a policy that encourages Australians to embrace the migrant population's cultures within the society.
According to Census records of 2006, 248,699 people born in Africa were residents in Australia (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008). As this figure continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to acknowledge their (Africans) presence within the society.
Let us "reject the single story" in order to "regain a kind of paradise" in Australia for this generation and others beyond.
This project aims to celebrate and acknowledge the presence of an African woman and her contribution to the fabric that holds multicultural Australia. While Australia continues to pride itself of multiculturalism, the stereotype remains especially in the mainstream media, particularly when it comes to documenting the black people of African origin. They are showcased as either the exotic other or the poor refugee who awaits deliverance from the white man. Ann Wayne Reiner (2010) writes, "African migrants are treated by mainstream Australia as homogenous community ... And not as active and contributing members of the Australian society".
In view of the above, if we don't tell our stories from the insider's point of view, we only have ourselves to hold responsible for askew history that will be fed to future generations.
This project therefore presents a platform that affords African Australian women a voice to share their stories and most importantly to highlight tales of endurance, inspiration and the courage to keep rising against all odds.
The project will contribute towards clearing stereotypical opinions, encourage a deeper and meaningful dialogue within the society as well as invite the audience to explore what it truly means to wear one's skin with pride.