Join the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry at Curtin University and the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance of Western Australia on Thursday 2 May at the State Library of Western Australia as we present:

ONE OF US? Complicity and Critique after the Christchurch Massacre.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has opened an official book of condolences for the victims of the Christchurch attacks with the words “they are us“.  Radio New Zealand March 18, 2019

Weourusthem are the most basic units of defining belonging and non-belonging. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern chose to redefine these terms within her nation, claiming as kin the victims of the Christchurch massacre and disowning the killer. Yet, in other contexts, the killer was humanised, in line with his own self-representation as “an ordinary white man” — someone who could be “one of us.”

Who are “we”? Who is “one of us”? Who are we part of? Whose humanity do we recognise as akin to ours?

In this symposium, community members, academics and artists consider the fraught term, one of us, exploring questions of the normalization of racism, everyday Islamophobia, and the connections between various forms of othering – “us and them” – in Australia.

We consider our complicities with violence and explore ways forward. A Q and A panel will address pre-submitted questions on how to recognize and resist the destructive identifications of us and them and the ways in which they are reproduced in our daily lives.

Featuring:  Sky Croeser, Yahiya Ibrahim, Karim Jabbari (video), John Kinsella,  Marilyn Metta, Marziya Mohammedali,  Ayman Qwaider, Sabah Rind, Sara Saleh (video),  Kim Scott, Rabia Siddique,  Fadzi Whande, Yirga Woldeyes.

Convenors: Shaheen Hughes, Hannah McGlade, Marziya Mohammedali,  Suvendrini Perera

Organising Committee: Michelle Bui, Sky Croeser, Thor Kerr, Marilyn Metta, Baden Offord, Ayman Qwaider, Antonio Traverso.



In his powerful speech in the Senate, Senator Pat Dodson stated, “We turn our back against xenophobia, against hate crimes and against any gunmen who hold innocent people in their sights. We call out those who exploit fear and ignorance for political gain, who mock the traditional dress of women of another culture, who seek donations from the manufacturer of weapons of war to override our own laws and who argue that it’s all right to be white. Their actions and exhortations would plunge this country back into the killing times. You’ve got to remember that this history is well known to First Nations peoples.”



Sky Croeser works in Internet Studies at Curtin University. Her research focuses on how activists use, and reshape, the technologies we use every day. Her first book, Global Justice and the Politics of Information, came out in 2015, and you can find more of her research at

John Kinsella is the author of many volumes of poetry, including Peripheral light: New and Selected Poems (WW Norton/Fremantle Press), Jam Tree Gully (WW Norton), Drowning in Wheat: Selected Poems (Picador) and most recently, Open Door (UWAP), the final volume of his Jam Tree Gully trilogy. He  has written numerous books of fiction and criticism, including Polysituatedness (Manchester University Press) edited others, and taught poetry and literature in a number of countries. He has published six collections of short fiction, including In the Shade of the Shady Tree (Ohio University Press) and Crow’s Breath (Transit Lounge), and his experimental novels include Postcolonial (Papertiger Media) and Lucida Intervalla (UWAP). He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and Professor of Literature and Environment at Curtin University. He lives mostly in the Western Australian wheatbelt on Ballardong Noongar land, and is a committed environmental and social activist and a vegan anarchist pacifist of well over three decades. He frequently works in collaboration with other practitioners and activists.

Dr Marilyn Metta is a storyteller who has been working with marginalised communities and stories for the past twenty years. Marilyn’s work is centred on social justice and the importance of storytelling in education and social transformation. She teaches Anthropology and Sociology at the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry and a family counsellor at the West Leederville Counselling Centre. She’s the Founder of Mettamorphosis Inc, a not-for-profit organisation working to provide access to education for stateless and refugee children; CEO and Founder of The Metis Centre, an educational and advocacy organisation working to address gender inequality and gendered violence.

Ayman Qwaider is a Research Assistant at Curtin university with a Masters degree in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies from The University of Jaume I, Spain in 2011.

Sabah Rind is a Muslim woman who grew up in Perth with Aboriginal and Balochi Afghan background. She has completed postgrad studies in Human Rights and is currently working at the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA as the Community Legal Education and Engagement Officer.

Sara Saleh is an Arab-Australian poet and long-time campaigner for refugee rights and racial justice who has worked with human rights organisations in Australia and across the Middle East. Sara’s first poetry collection was released in 2016, and her poems have been published in English and Arabic in several publications. Sara is co-curator of upcoming anthology Arab-Australian-Other (Picador 2019) and is currently working on her debut novel as a Sweatshop Fellow. Sara is completing a Juris Doctor at UNSW. She sits on the board of Australia’s largest national advocacy organisation GetUp!

Kim Scott is a multi-award winning novelist whose most recent novel is Taboo (Picador, 2017). Proud to be one among those who call themselves Noongar, Kim is also chair of Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories (, which is responsible for a number of bilingual (Noongar and English) picture books and regional performances of story and song. Kim is currently Professor of Writing in the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry at Curtin University.

Rabia Siddique History making humanitarian, author and international keynote speaker Rabia Siddique is a power house for change. Entertaining, powerful and engaging, this best-selling author represents a living example of how each one of us can be a force for positive change in our own lives and those around us. Having survived a hostage crisis in Iraq, Rabia garnered global attention for making the British military accountable for silencing her about her ordeal and role in releasing captured special forces soldiers. Standing up for justice in the face of public ridicule, Rabia’s brave action in suing the British Government for sexism and racism became a catalyst for policy change to ensure a fairer workplace for women and cultural minorities in the British military. Drawing on extensive experience as a former criminal, war crimes, terrorism and human rights lawyer, military career, psychology training and business, Rabia is also a sought after transformational coach and mentor.  She has provided equality and diversity training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where her charges included Prince William. A noted media commentator, Rabia’s first book, Equal Justice, is the focus for a feature film. She also has the delightful challenge of being Mum to triplet boys.

Fadzi Whande is an award winning Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategist and Social Justice Advocate. Her background ranges from launching telecommunication networks to addressing social disadvantage across government, business, not-for-profit as well as educational institutions in Africa, Australia, United Kingdom and USA. Her work primarily focuses on addressing systemic and institutionalised barriers held towards historically underrepresented groups. Over the course of her career she has been the recipient of various awards and accolades including being a 2018 finalist for Western Australian of the Year and appointed an Australia Day Ambassador for encouraging and inspiring social and cultural inclusion. In 2016, in partnership with the US Embassy and US based racial equity expert Glenn Singleton, Fadzi facilitated the ground-breaking ‘Courageous Conversation about Race’ program with law enforcement agencies throughout Perth, providing participants with an understanding of how to interact with the State’s diverse communities and to be mindful of the impact of institutionalised racism. In the short time since its inception, the program has engaged with law enforcement agencies, government departments and community organisations, including the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Corrective Services. As a result of this Fadzi was the recipient of the International Racial Equity Leadership Award in the USA and a finalist for the Australian Human Rights ‘Racism it Stops with me’ award. Fadzi sits on the Board of Directors for the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance and Volunteering WA and is an Ambassador for the philanthropic organisation 100 Women. She holds an Executive MBA and Graduate Certificate  in Social Impact from the University of Western Australia.

Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes is a researcher and lecturer at the Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia. His multidisciplinary research focuses on the critical study of development, education and law, and the importance of lived experience and epistemic diversity for decolonial and sustainable futures. Yirga researches African experiences and Ethiopian traditions, and writes creatively on belonging and diasporic lives.