Infotainment Factory: Mills shares powerful Australia Day message

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Thursday, 24 January 2019

Mills shares powerful Australia Day message


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In the lead-up to Australia Day, proud indigenous-Australian NBA champion Patty Mills shared a powerful message on his custom-made shoes.

Mills scored 17 points in San Antonio Spurs' 122-120 loss to Philadelphia, which also featured Australian 76ers duo Ben Simmons and Jonah Bolden.

On the eve Australia's national day, Mills used the opportunity side by side with his fellow Aussie NBA stars to draw attention to the issues still plaguing indigenous communities by wearing some striking shoes.

His custom Under Armour kicks had the words "Survival" and "Invasion" across the sides, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands flags, and the date of what is now Australia Day, '26 January, 2019', as well as some troubling statistics.

"These shoes have been designed to educate people on Australia's history and its current status," Mills told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Patty Mills' custom shoes

"The left shoe displays the word ‘INVASION’ to describe the European Settlement and the genocide of Indigenous people that occurred on January 26, 1788. This was the year the British began to colonise the continent.

"The right shoe displays the word ‘SURVIVAL’ to describe the current status of Indigenous people, land and culture in Australia. This also illustrates the date, January 26, 2019.

"Today the majority of people in the country celebrate January 26 as ‘Australia Day’, the official national day of Australia.

"A country that was once populated by 100% Indigenous people is now, 231 years later, 3%.

"Lastly, the shoes incorporate the three National flags of Australia (Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait) appearing through the dusty red-soil plains. A sign of hope that our future is brighter than our past by remembering & honouring all of those who have sacrificed for us. Because today, we are one."

Mills also arrived to the game wearing a Bad Apples Music t-shirt bearing the Aboriginal flag which read: 'Australia has a Black Future'.

The Spurs guard has long been a proud voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, and he has been repeatedly outspoken about the issues which disproportionately affect indigenous Australians.

Earlier in the week Mills spoke passionately about the power of Martin Luther King day, celebrating the civil rights movement in the US and the sacrifice of those involved, including the day's namesake.

"We are honoured and proud to celebrate the legacy of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jnr in hopes that we can continue to educate about the past so we can all move forward together as one," Mills told the Spurs home crowd.

https://twitter.com/spurs/status/1088226754072764417?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Australia Day remains a contentious national 'holiday' with many believing the celebration of a day which had devastating, long-felt repercussions to the indigenous population is not appropriate to be celebrated, with some calling it 'Invasion Day' instead.

Though Mills steered clear of calling for a change to the date, his shoes clearly sent a strong message about the inequality still facing indigenous people.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's 2017 report:

  • In 2015-16, Indigenous children aged 0-17 received child protection services at a rate around 7 times that for non-Indigenous children, and they were 10 times as likely to be in out-of-home care.
  • As at 30 June 2016, over one-quarter (27%) of the total Australian prison population was Indigenous— meaning that the Indigenous age-standardised imprisonment rate was 13 times that for non-Indigenous Australians.
  • Indigenous Australians have higher unemployment rates than non-Indigenous Australians; they also earn lower household incomes and are more likely to receive a government pension or allowance, as their main source of income.
  • Indigenous people are over-represented in homelessness services. In 2015-16, they made up 24% of clients accessing these services, a rate more than 9 times that for non Indigenous Australians.
  • Nationally, in 2015, around 42% of all Indigenous children in their first year of full-time schooling were categorised as developmentally vulnerable on one or more of the five key areas of early childhood development (or domains), compared with 21% of all non Indigenous children.
  • Indigenous Australians experience widespread socioeconomic disadvantage and health inequality. Factors like discrimination and racism, violence, alcohol and drug use and high psychological distress can negatively affect social and emotional wellbeing. Poor social and emotional wellbeing, in turn, can have negative impacts on employment, income, living conditions and opportunities.

In the lead-up to Australia Day, proud indigenous-Australian NBA champion Patty Mills shared a powerful message on his custom-made shoes.

Mills scored 17 points in San Antonio Spurs' 122-120 loss to Philadelphia, which also featured Australian 76ers duo Ben Simmons and Jonah Bolden.

On the eve Australia's national day, Mills used the opportunity side by side with his fellow Aussie NBA stars to draw attention to the issues still plaguing indigenous communities by wearing some striking shoes.

His custom Under Armour kicks had the words "Survival" and "Invasion" across the sides, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands flags, and the date of what is now Australia Day, '26 January, 2019', as well as some troubling statistics.

"These shoes have been designed to educate people on Australia's history and its current status," Mills told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Patty Mills' custom shoes

"The left shoe displays the word ‘INVASION’ to describe the European Settlement and the genocide of Indigenous people that occurred on January 26, 1788. This was the year the British began to colonise the continent.

"The right shoe displays the word ‘SURVIVAL’ to describe the current status of Indigenous people, land and culture in Australia. This also illustrates the date, January 26, 2019.

"Today the majority of people in the country celebrate January 26 as ‘Australia Day’, the official national day of Australia.

"A country that was once populated by 100% Indigenous people is now, 231 years later, 3%.

"Lastly, the shoes incorporate the three National flags of Australia (Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait) appearing through the dusty red-soil plains. A sign of hope that our future is brighter than our past by remembering & honouring all of those who have sacrificed for us. Because today, we are one."

Mills also arrived to the game wearing a Bad Apples Music t-shirt bearing the Aboriginal flag which read: 'Australia has a Black Future'.

The Spurs guard has long been a proud voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, and he has been repeatedly outspoken about the issues which disproportionately affect indigenous Australians.

Earlier in the week Mills spoke passionately about the power of Martin Luther King day, celebrating the civil rights movement in the US and the sacrifice of those involved, including the day's namesake.

"We are honoured and proud to celebrate the legacy of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jnr in hopes that we can continue to educate about the past so we can all move forward together as one," Mills told the Spurs home crowd.

https://twitter.com/spurs/status/1088226754072764417?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Australia Day remains a contentious national 'holiday' with many believing the celebration of a day which had devastating, long-felt repercussions to the indigenous population is not appropriate to be celebrated, with some calling it 'Invasion Day' instead.

Though Mills steered clear of calling for a change to the date, his shoes clearly sent a strong message about the inequality still facing indigenous people.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's 2017 report:

  • In 2015-16, Indigenous children aged 0-17 received child protection services at a rate around 7 times that for non-Indigenous children, and they were 10 times as likely to be in out-of-home care.
  • As at 30 June 2016, over one-quarter (27%) of the total Australian prison population was Indigenous— meaning that the Indigenous age-standardised imprisonment rate was 13 times that for non-Indigenous Australians.
  • Indigenous Australians have higher unemployment rates than non-Indigenous Australians; they also earn lower household incomes and are more likely to receive a government pension or allowance, as their main source of income.
  • Indigenous people are over-represented in homelessness services. In 2015-16, they made up 24% of clients accessing these services, a rate more than 9 times that for non Indigenous Australians.
  • Nationally, in 2015, around 42% of all Indigenous children in their first year of full-time schooling were categorised as developmentally vulnerable on one or more of the five key areas of early childhood development (or domains), compared with 21% of all non Indigenous children.
  • Indigenous Australians experience widespread socioeconomic disadvantage and health inequality. Factors like discrimination and racism, violence, alcohol and drug use and high psychological distress can negatively affect social and emotional wellbeing. Poor social and emotional wellbeing, in turn, can have negative impacts on employment, income, living conditions and opportunities.
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