'OUT OF BOUNDS'" Questions you're too afraid to ask
"WHY should I say sorry to indigenous Australians for something I didn't do?"
It's a simple question but it's not an easy question to ask. You wouldn't shout it out at the pub or ask it in a lecture theatre full of your peers, would you?
But that doesn't mean it's racist, or that the person asking it is racist.
For a long time, that question and questions just like it have been "out of bounds". A new initiative aims to bring them back into play.
Online, the Victorian Government just set up the Deadly Questions website, a portal for non-indigenous Australians to ask questions of indigenous "champions".
The aim is to start a conversation that leads Victoria to the establishment of a treaty or treaties that could recognise past wrongs and acknowledge the unique position of Aboriginal Australians, among other things.
These are some of the questions that have already been asked and answered by Aboriginal actors, athletes, artists and academics.
Why should I be sorry for something I didn't do?
Yorta Yorta man Adam Briggs said: "I don't think people need to be sorry but they need to acknowledge. It's not about, you know, feeling sorry. I don't need every white fella with dreadlocks to come and tell me he's sorry. I need true acknowledgment and that comes from the top down, from the government."
Do you prefer 'Aboriginal' or 'indigenous'?
Wemba-Wemba actress Carissa Lee said: "All are good. I like being called 'First Nations' or 'Aboriginal'. 'Indigenous' is a bit weird - it makes it sound like they're talking about a plant."
Why can't Aboriginal people get over the past?
Gunditjmara filmmaker and poet Richard Franklin said: "I often get asked, 'why don't you guys just get over it?'. I can't be healed and I can't get over it until my non-Aboriginal colleagues can get over it, until we stop living with a nursery version of history. We're at a crossroads in this nation. We have a great opportunity and the opportunity is we can move forward together, never forget the past, recognise the past for what it truly is and use those learnings to plant seeds here in the present for future generations."
Is being Aboriginal just the colour of your skin?
What's the meaning of the Aboriginal flag?
Wurundjeri social justice campaigner Aunty Joy Murphy said: "It varies, but the heart of it goes to the yellow circle. For me, that's the sun, the giver of life. That's what I feel and hold on to when I see the flag. It's a symbol that we can do what our ancestors did, we can survive and we will survive and we will be stronger. The black of course represents who we are, the people, and the red is the blood that was spilt on this land."
Why are some people called Aunty and Uncle?
Aunty Murphy said: "It's like earning a medal. You've got to be given recognition from your community that they respect you, that's pretty much it. To be called Aunty by other people, it's huge. I don't take it lightly still today.
I'll see someone somewhere and even little ones come up to you and say 'Aunty Joy!' and they're not my biological family, but they will always be my extended family."
The portal allows anybody to ask a question and get a response, but certain questions will be removed if they include offensive or racist language.
Legislation providing the framework for a treaty is being explored in the Victorian Parliament this week.
The Federal Government last year rejected the Uluru statement which proposed giving indigenous Australians their own voice in Parliament.