Changing Perspectives - Be an ally 365 days a year

Philippa Moig
By Philippa Moig | 13 June 2023
Philippa Moig.

The MFA DE&I Council would like to see an industry where everyone can thrive, feel heard, supported, and safe to do their best work. Let’s meet the Changers who are sharing their own lived experiences to inspire us all to change for the better.

My name is Philippa Moig, most of you know me as Phil. I am Mum to Archer and Mila, wife to proud Wiradjuri man Adam, and a daughter of a Zimbabwean father and Aussie mum.

I fell in love with the magic of Indigenous culture via a pretty special journey through two people. The big fella, Wiradjuri man Adam, my husband; and my neighbour, my mate, my council, Wiradjuri trailblazer Jarin Baigent.

These two people opened a door for me to learn about culture, mob, community, values and the confronting truth of Australia’s shared history. I share my story with you because Indigenous culture is about sharing who we are as human beings, it’s not about what we do.

Can you describe any challenges you encountered and how you were able to overcome them?
I have at times felt frustrated that my children, my husband, or myself have had to rationalise their Aboriginality. For my family, their Aboriginality is a fundamental part of their identity, it’s their connection to culture, story, mob.

They have a very deep sense of the past 238 years, but far more importantly, this connection goes back to time immemorial. They know and feel mob walking upon, living upon, and caring for country for 100,000 years before colonisation. Aboriginality and your connection to who you are is not determined by the shade of your skin. As an industry we have an amazing opportunity to explore this, and that will make us significantly better allies.

I’ll share an analogy with you which helped me understand the meaning of Aboriginality. Visualise pouring yourself a cup of black coffee. Now add some milk, a little more, and a little more. When you pick up that cup and you smell it and take that first sip, think about what you are drinking.

Ultimately, it’s always going to be coffee, regardless of the amount of milk you add. We must not push our view of what Aboriginality “should be” on a community or individuals. Mob have always understood this, and now we just need to catch up.

My hope for my family is that they are celebrated for their connection to culture, not questioned.

My hope for our nation is that we answer the heartfelt and generous call to walk with our Indigenous brothers and sisters and say YES when the referendum on the Voice is called. This is a monumental moment, and we must be on the right side of history – yarn about it, read it, say it, share it #ulurustatement

What has been the most valuable advice you’ve received and what would you say to others who may be feeling similarly challenged?
My advice is threefold:

• Become an ally 365 days a year. Do it with heart, make it count, get into community, have a yarn, and build relationships. If you’re not sure how, get in touch!
• Think about what allyship means for you, and go beyond the key dates marked in the calendar.
• Leaning in, getting curious, and building friendships with mob has changed my life for the better, and it has the power to change yours.

Philippa Moig is Head of NSW Government at OMD

comments powered by Disqus