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Calling for expressions of interest for #IHMayDay18 – “Stepping Out into Our Future”

Please make a note in your diaries – the fifth annual Indigenous Health May Day Twitter festival will be held on Thursday, May 31.

You can track the discussions and news at #IHMayDay18.

The event will take place both on Twitter and on Palm Island, supporting the community’s centenary celebrations.

The theme is Stepping Out into Our Future.

Discussions on the day will be moderated by the founder of #IHMayDay, Dr Lynore Geia from James Cook University, and Croakey Contributing Editor Summer May Finlay.

The event is co-hosted by Croakey News, and a #CroakeyGO act of walking journalism will be held on Palm on Wednesday 30 May, to preview the #IHMayDay discussions. Croakey’s Melissa Sweet and Mitchell Ward will assist with these events.

Last year, #IHMayDay was co-hosted by University of Canberra Professor Peter Radoll, Dean of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy, with UC colleagues Associate Professor Kerry McCallum from the Faculty of Arts and Design, and Dr Holly Northam from the Faculty of Health.

In 2016, #IHMayDay occurred both online and IRL, hosted by Associate Professor Bronwyn Carlson at the University of Wollongong, with her colleague Dr Tanja Dreher. In 2015, the event was hosted by James Cook University and the inaugural year, 2014, it was a virtual event conducted from Dr Lynore Geia’s office at JCU and Melissa Sweet’s home office in rural NSW.

This year, the plan is for a similar real life-meets-cyberspace experience as in recent years, with a program of guest tweeters from 7am until 10pm AEST.

Calling for expressions of interest

#IHMayDay18 organisers are calling for expressions of interest from individuals and organisations interested in guest tweeting for a session during the day – whether for 30 minutes or an hour.

Please contact us by May 11, via the details on the bottom of this page (or ping us on Twitter), with a short bio and an outline of what you would like to tweet about and how it connects with the theme.

As in previous years, the program is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as guest tweeters. We invite and encourage non-Indigenous friends, allies and those who have an interest to partner with us on the day and participate by RT-ing and listening.

Dr Lynore Geia said:
I am so excited that this will be our fifth year of IHMayDay, our 5th birthday and that it will be happening on ‘country’ Palm Island! This is Manbarra and Bwgcolman country, my home community, where this year Palm Island commemorates 100 years of survival from forced government policies and practices. We remember our ‘old people’ and bring what they have taught us into today as we celebrate our present and look toward Stepping out into Our Future.

But this theme is not only for Palm Island; it is for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their communities. Our theme Stepping out into Our Future is relevant this year, given the national campaign of bringing the #UluruStatement to Parliament and to the Australian people; this is us collectively stepping out for our future as First Nations people. But, stepping out is also a very personal step of walking forwards on an individual level and a family level. I am hoping that we have a good representation of young people’s voices sharing their hopes and dreams of making new footprints for themselves and for others to follow.

I am of the firm belief that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples have a profound aspiration for a future of hope, freedom, and dignity for our families and community. Our future looks bright as we see so many young and savvy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders talking up loud for our mob on social media and getting involved in political, and social justice action.

I want to also acknowledge and thank Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends, colleagues and Twitter followers who have supported #IHMayDay events in the past. Each year Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island guest tweeters are privileged to share their lived experience, and we ask Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to respectfully listen and retweet on the day. You are a very valued and important partners with us on the day. As you support the event, I believe you are also stepping out into our future of this nation together with us.

I am looking forward to tweeting from Bwgcolman country on #IHMayDay and having my own home mob join with others around the nation. I encourage Croakey readers to engage with #IHMayDay as an opportunity to contribute to strengths-based discussions and counter-narratives about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health.

As in the past four years, we would like the day to provide a constructive critical discussion on Indigenous health in all its contexts. IHMayDay is a day of sharing varied perspectives and debate. As in the past four years, it’s been a day where everyone engages in the discussions with respect and goodwill, without personal attacks, and I want to encourage participants to continue this protocol this year.”

Summer May Finlay said:
“Looking to the future is as important as remembering the past. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people work towards a better future for the generations to come and #IHMayDay18 will share people’s visions for that future.

#IHMayDay18 will demonstrate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have goals and aspirations for our Peoples that will be unique, innovative and forward thinking.

It is such a privilege, for the 4th time to be a part of such an amazing event, which show cases the amazing skills, knowledge and diversity of Aboriginal peoples. I am excited to hear people’s visions for not just their individual futures but also the futures of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It’s sensational that the 5th #IHMayDay18 will be commemorating the centenary of Palm Island by celebrating a successful future for our Peoples.”

Croakey will publish the #IHMayDay18 program closer to the time. To register an expression of interest in guest tweeting, please contact: info@Croakey.org.au

For more information about #IHMayDay

The event is held in association with @IndigenousX and @WePublicHealth.