"Our indigenous people of Australia are three percent of the total Australian population. But of that three percent the last statistics reveal that at least 50 percent of that population is affected by some form of disability. This is a very high number for our people. A lot of our people haven't connected with agencies, because of the 'Stolen Generation', it's the fear of having a child removed from them and that child growing up institutionalised. I am extremely passionate about it- fighting the fear, fighting the racism. Being indigenous and having a disability you get a double whammy." - Gayle Rankine, Chairperson, First Peoples Disability Network (Australia). Chairperson, of the Indigenous Persons With Disabilities Global Network.
There are thirty stories in this publication and each story is intertwined with Australia's complex social and political history. A history that has resulted in the unacceptably high rates of disability within the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Every participant of this project has revealed their very personal story in order to draw much needed attention to these critical issues.
This catalogue has been produced with the support of the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to accompany the Unfinished Business Exhibition, which was shown that the United Nations' 2014 World Conference of Indigenous Peoples in New York.
Unfinished Business is proudly supported by the First Peoples Disability Network, the Outback Academy Red Dust Heelers and the Fred Hollows Foundation.
About the Author
Belinda Mason is an award-winning Sydney-based photographer. She worked as a News Ltd Press photographer in the late 1980s before becoming a freelance photographer.
Her work focuses on taboo social subjects that explore the very personal and sometimes difficult subjects of grief, body image, identity and family. Belinda is the 2008 winner of the richest photography prize in Australia, The Moran Prize. Her winning image is entitled "Four Generations".
Belinda was recently awarded "Most Emotionally Intense Image" at the CCP 2008 Kodak Salon. This same image of a burn survivor won the Perth 2008 PCP Iris Award. Her work has been exhibited at the NSW Art Gallery as part of the Shoot The Chef exhibition, and she has participated in exhibitions such as Head On, Josephine Ulrick and Olive Cotton Awards, the Alice Prize, Iris Awards.