We acknowledge all First Peoples of this land and celebrate their enduring connections to Country, knowledge and stories. We pay our respects to Elders and Ancestors who watch over us and guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

This space contains images, voices and stories from people that have passed away.

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5 Changemakers, 5 Days: Mililma May

Mililma May is a staunch Danggalaba Kulumbirigin Tiwi woman living, working and studying on Kulumbirigin Country (Darwin). Mililma co-founded Uprising of the People (UP) in 2020. UP is a Danggalaba Kulumbirigin-owned, grassroots organisation that draws on connections to Country to exercise Elders’ wisdom and wishes whilst drawing on community strength to create holistic wellbeing for young people. UP’s work is grounded in Batcho self-determination.

Mililma is also an activist, artist and writer. We yarned with Mililma in the lead up to National Reconciliation Week 2022 for our 5 Changemakers, 5 Days campaign. Questions and answers may have been edited for length and clarity.

Tell us about yourself and your mob.

Mililma: I am a Danggalaba Kulumbirigin Tiwi woman from Kulumbirigin Country, also known as Darwin. 

What drives you to create change?

M: My Ancestors, my Elders and our babies. This cycle of my bloodline and our stories is what drives me to continue changing and evolving to make sure that we can be empowered, nurtured and as strong as possible for as long as possible. 

What does your ideal future look like?

M: My ideal future looks like stable tides, mangroves on the coastline and plenty of fish in the sea. It looks like young kids following their dreams and going home to love, cuddles and wisdom. It looks like our Elders making decisions for our Country, and sharing stories whilst being surrounded by their grannies. 

What does being brave look and feel like to you?

M: Being brave makes my brow furrow like my father’s side and makes my mouth purse like my mother’s side. My Ancestors are behind me and my Aunties hold my hand. My Uncles are ahead; keeping an eye out. The kids are quiet, still and calm; they feel safe. 

Do you have a call to action for our community?

Donate to the GoFundMe for Peter Skeen aka Big Brotha of 0830.

Peter is a determined, quiet and hardworking young man. He is recovering from being critically shot by police in Palmerston NT in March 2022. 

Whilst Peter is not able to work, he and his family need funds to support his physiotherapy rehabilitation, funds for house changes for wheelchair accessibility, funds to cover rent and bills, and funds for court costs.

Top image: By Che Chorley
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