What is Indigenous Comic Con

 

By: Kimberly Lovegrove

All over the world geeks unite a couple times a year to meet guests from their favourite TV shows, movies, books, comics. These are called Comic Conventions. Australia has it’s own comic conventions all year round with Supanova and Oz Comic Con.

But can you imagine what a convention would look like if all guests and if the convention itself was just Indigenous. We’re talking Indigenous movie and TV stars, Indigenous authors even Indigenous cosplayers from all around the world.

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Indigenous Comic Con Logo.     Photo credit: Twitter.com

Dr Lee Francis has done just this. Indigenous Comic Con began in 2016 and has been running for the last 3 years in the states and the best news is Indigenous Comic Con is coming to Melbourne in 2019.

Running any event is not easy but Indigenous Comic Con will be managed by a very extraordinary Aboriginal man CIENAN MUIR. Cienan is a 29-year-old Yorta Yorta and Ngarrindjeri man who lives in Melbourne. He is one of few Aboriginal cosplayers in Australia and is constantly amazing those around him. Cienan has been a cosplayer since 2012 where he attended his first convention with his girlfriend Heidi who is also an Aboriginal cosplayer. They instantly connected over their love for comic books.

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Cienan Muir aka ceejayandthecosplay.      Photo credit: We Matter Campaign Video

This event will change how Indigenous people in the entertainment field are seen. We’re talking about us in film, TV, books, comics everything. I had the great pleasure of speaking to Dr Lee Francis when he was down in Melbourne a couple of months ago and we were talking about how important it is to show the mainstream we are the original storytellers and showing the young ones just how powerful they are through different means of expression. We have so many different ways of expressing ourselves, for me it’s comedy or writing.

Having Indigenous Comic Con come to Australia is going to change so much. Words cant even express how excited I am for this. For so long I have wondered am I the only black fulla who likes comics or syfy shows or anything like that. Then I met Cienan and Heidi. What I love most about going to conventions is that you will make life long friends as you would at school or at university.

I have been going to conventions for the last 3 years and my life has changed so much, I have met so many different people just by my love of stories and how they are told whether through film, TV, books, comics etc. At these conventions you can truly be yourself and meet people just like you and even learn about how you can learn to tell your story through a costume, a written piece or a character you want to bring to life, these conventions are also great for networking plus you can make lifelong memories.

Finally if you want a taste of what Indigenous Comic Con is like and what to expect when it comes to Melbourne in 2019 check out their Facebook page and Cienan Muir’s Facebook and Instagram page @ceejayandthecosplay for live videos and photos for a first look as Cienan is a guest at the 3rd Indigenous Comic Con in Albuquerque, New Mexico over the weekend.

Indigenous Comic Con Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigenouscomiccon

Cienan Muir Cosplay Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CeejayAndTheCosplay/

Until next time, stay black and deadly

 

Kimmie Lovegrove

 

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My first piece of work published internationally

Let’s take a journey. You are an Indigenous student new to RMIT. It’s your first day at a new place. You’ve travelled interstate away from family and friends and your never- live-without, always-by-your side, Ryan Gosling look-alike chihuahua. You plan to study at university to chase your dreams. Where do you go, your head is all over the place? You walk down Bowen street with your shit iPhone headphones blasting Graduation by Vitamin C.

People around you are looking at you awkwardly as you remove your headphones you realise your headphones are not plugged in. After you realise this you are totally embarrassed and run into the nearest building to recover from such an atrocity.

You walk up the few steps and see a beautiful Indigenous designed artwork and a sign that reads ‘Ngarara Willim Centre’. You are intrigued and pick up the handset phone and wait for the person on the other end.

A voice as sweet as a lamington says “Hi, welcome to the Ngarara Willim Centre, I’m Cyan how can I help you?” You mumble into the phone that you’re lost and embarrassed. You tell her you’re scared and it’s your first day and that you’re Aboriginal and ask if this is a safe place. Cyan opens the locked door. You see a casually dressed women with stunning straight brown hair and a beautiful smile on her face. She stands to the side and gestures you to follow her inside. She brings you inside a living room style area and you can smell fresh toast. She then invites you into a private room.

You sit down at the table across from Cyan. She smiles at you and asks you about your mob and where you come from. You smile at her as you realise you have found your place at RMIT. This is what it is like for every Indigenous student on their first day at RMIT. We come from all over Australia and find our way to a place we can call our second home.

This year will mark the Ngarara Willim Centre’s 24th year of running at RMIT. Ngarara Willim was previously called The Koorie Education Unit then renamed the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Unit. Ngarara Willim is one of many Indigenous centres across Australia whose sole purpose is to assist with the university experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. “Ngarara Willim means ‘gathering place’ in the language of the Wurundjeri, the traditional custodians of the land where RMIT stands” (Ngarara Willim Centre website).

You’re probably wondering ‘why am I even reading about this?’ Early this year Daily Mail Australia disclosed an incident at the Queensland University of Technology. Non-Indigenous students were asked to leave a computer lab in the Indigenous unit. One student later posted on Facebook “I wonder where the white supremacist computer lab is”. Another student responded with ‘ITT n*****s’. An Indigenous staff member at QUT has launched a $250,000 racism claim after the incident. (Eddie & Noble, 2016).

To understand why Indigenous centres are important I spoke to three key people who have benefited from the Ngarara Willim Centre. Stacey Campton has led the Ngarara Willim Centre to victory for the last 18 months, overseeing RMIT’s first Reconciliation Action Plan. In second command as Stacey’s confidant Carlie Groves is a fierce yet caring non-Indigenous women who has been passionate about Indigenous student wellbeing since the dawn of Y2K. Hollie Johnson has a tough rep as the OG (Original Gangster) of the Ngarara Willim Centre. She made her first footprint in the Ngarara Willim Centre back in 2013. Stacey, Carlie and Hollie come from all walks of life and will give this article a fresh perspective on the value of Indigenous centres in Australia.

When asked why Indigenous centres are important Stacey touched on the rights of the first nations people and the role for centres to close the education gap: “We have a fundamental right as Indigenous people to an education. People like to put us into the category of disadvantage. The Ngarara Willim Centre is a place where professional and academic Indigenous staff and students thrive to break down that wall of disadvantage.”

Ngarara Willim Centre –Indigenous Students find home
Stacey speaks passionately about the fact that Indigenous centres aren’t just a place to socialise and get a few study hours done. She clearly stated that without the existence of Indigenous centres the first nations people of Australia would be lost. She shared her view that having Indigenous centres across universities nation-wide will increase Indigenous curriculum and the number of Indigenous academics. For example, in 2009 RMIT implemented an elective for all students to expand their current knowledge of Aboriginal culture. The majority of students enrolled in this elective are non-Indigenous, which is a positive step towards reconciliation and pleases many of the Indigenous academic staff and students.

As an non-Indigenous woman, when asked if she felt included working in the Ngarara Willim Centre, Carlie said that since day one she has been treated as though she was a member of the Indigenous community. In many people’s eyes she is, due to her 12 years of commitment towards improving education outcomes for Indigenous students. “It’s an honour to be accepted by my colleagues and students at the Ngarara Willim Centre. Never have I felt unwelcome. I am included in everything, especially cultural events. Part of the reason I’ve stayed so long is because of the support.” Carlie manages the Indigenous Tutorial Access Scheme which plays a direct role in retention and graduation results for Indigenous students.

Hollie leads a double life. By day she is a full-time student at RMIT and at night she does part-time modelling. Her long legs prove she is in the right industry. Hollie had to move away from home to study the course of her dreams, away from all her friends and family. For Hollie, the Ngarara Willim Centre has become a second home. She has found a new family in the students she has met: “Being one of those students coming to Melbourne alone, being the first to move away from home to study I wanted to make the effort to get to know people. I didn’t have anywhere else to go, but ended up meeting friends who became like family. The Ngarara Willim Centre has that sense, unlike other Indigenous centres or universities.” – Hollie Johnson

The emotion on Hollie’s face when talking about the community of the Ngarara Willim Centre is heart breaking. Hollie’s voice cracks when talking about how important the Ngarara Willim Centre has been for her and how the centre itself has contributed to the success of completing of her degree. Indigenous people have suffered thousands of years of being forcibly removed from homes, genocide and many more. Indigenous centres such as Ngarara Willim help with the trauma that Indigenous people have faced and are still facing by providing dedicated support. We all deserve to find that place we can call home. For Indigenous people at RMIT, the Ngarara Willim Centre is their sanctuary. It is where they can plan for world domination!

From what Stacey, Carlie and Hollie have told us, it is a huge privilege to have this service at any university. But the sad truth is that many people don’t understand why Indigenous students need these centres. Stacey mentioned that the first nations people of Australia have the right to an education. When you think about the incident at QUT it brings up a lot of questions. Some of these questions are surrounded by the lack of education in understanding Aboriginal history and the fundamentals of Aboriginal culture that non-Indigenous students may have. For example, how important is it to have Reconciliation Action Plans in place? Will having reconciliation action plans help to build respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and create opportunities for Indigenous peoples?
From interviewing Stacey, Carlie and Hollie you can see that the Ngarara Willim Centre has brought people from different backgrounds together and build these relationships that will never be forgotten. In my time at RMIT I have never met a stronger student cohort. The support you receive from the centre impacts not only your studies but your future career but most importantly your life as soon as you leave the centre. You are never forgotten. You are not just a 6-digit student code you are FAMILY.

2018 is here!!!! and so was ADAM DEVINE

Hey y’all and welcome to Kimmie’s Blogs!!!

 

We are 2 months into 2018!!!!.

I’ve started work. It was has been good but i’m just finding my place transitioning from uni life to work life. It’s not easy but i’m putting in 100%.

2018 is gonna test me in so many ways, but i will not let it defy me. No matter what happens in life i will still be me!!.

SO… 2 weeks ago i saw Adam Devine.

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Adam came to Melbourne for his world tour ‘Weird Life Tour 2018’. He is well known for being in ‘Workaholics, Pitch Perfect and When We First Met (Netflix).

The show opened with Adam Ray who has been on The Heat and Curb Your Enthusiasm plus a million more shows. To put a face to the name. Here is Adam Ray!.

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I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but i was laughing my fucking head off. When i say i was laughing my fucking head off i was literally rocking in my seat so my ribs wouldn’t break. I’ve seen a few american comedians before and Adam is definitely is one of my faves. Adam if your reading this, come back PLEASE!!!!.

After Adam Ray left, the man of the main event ADAM DEVINE came out from behind the curtain. My first thought was ‘hey, he’s so short too’. From that moment he’s jokes hit me again and again. After every punch line he’d end it with ‘that’s stupid’, that’s what got me every time and also the entire body of the joke obviously.

when Adam asked the crowd what brought them out. a couple of people yelled out for pitch perfect, a couple of Mike and Dave need wedding dates. but the entire venue went nuts when he called out for workaholics. i was like damn didn’t know workaholics was that well received in Australia.

The show continued but in the middle of the set, Adam was pressured to do a ‘shoey’. So a shoey is where you pour beer into your shoe. I’ve never done a shoey and i don’t plan on to either, who knows where i’m shoes been 😉

After Adam’s set Adam Ray came out and did a shoey as well. Overall the show was fantastic except for the shoey. Gotta love artists and how they will do anything for their fans. Don’t get me wrong i commend artists who go out of their comfort zone to show appreciation to their supporters but do a something like a shoey, not my cup of tea.

 

Well that’s all from me tonight folks, if you haven’t already check out my facebook page and twitter. Have a great week. Til next time..

XOXO Kimmie

 

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End of an era!!

Hey Y’all.

Kimmie here. It’s been a while since my last blog post. I’ve been celebrating. Why?. I finally finished my first university degree!!!!.

Yes i know in previous blogs i’ve gone on about my university experience but who cares, if you finish something, celebrate!!!. It’s a massive accomplishment to finish something where the odds are against you and not in your favour.

Finishing my degree at uni was such a momentos moment. i’m the first person in my family to get a degree on both sides of my family. I’m sure im not the only person to feel so overwhelmed.

Every day was a daily struggle, people telling me i wasn’t experienced enough to complete a degree or go into higher education as i started in vocational studies (vocational studies = TAFE). This pushed me further. I’m not a person to back down, with the strength of my ancestors and support from my family friends i pushed through.

If you are reading this and your feeling like university isn’t for you or your feel like giving up, please DON’T. If you do feel like this, come back to this blog to reassure yourself. Nothing in this world is meant to be easy, if it was life would be boring, life is meant to challenge and change you.

At moments the assignments did get to me but i’ve learnt so much from fellow classmates. Like how to work more productively in a group #groupassignmentworksuck. Everyone works differently. If you feel like your behind on anything, ask for help. Since your paying thousands of money why not get everything out of this wonderful experience.

I really hope that this blog helps someone though the toughest 3 years of your life. I wish i went to university earlier but your never to old to get educated.

I was lucky enough for RMIT to write an article about myself, so go give that a looksy as well.

SO that rounds this blog, but if you have any specific questions about my university experience hit me on my email – kimberlylovegrove1@gmail.com

Peace 🙂

 

 

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#BeAMaverick

Hi Everyone,

Alot has happened since i last blogged. I finished my degree. I have secured a full-time job for 2018. Exciting stuff i know.

So your probably wondering what’s the reason for today’s heading. Many people will know what ‘Be A Maverick’ is.  ‘Be A Maverick’ is a massive movement that has existed for years but never been brought to your eyes on a global scale. Youtube and Ex-Viner star Logan Paul introduced the ‘Be A Maverick’ movement to his fans quite sometime ago. This movement has affected my life since i started watching his vlogs a couple of months ago. So ‘Be A Maverick’ is a motto to live by. It means that no matter what society’s norms are you don’t follow it, you make up your own rules, your different and unique.

This is how i live my life by. I am not a normal 24 year old. I am ambitious and hard working and high achieving. I don’t stop until i get what i want (only have to adapt that into my dating life lol). Alot of young people my age don’t have this train of thought. I’m lucky to have been brought to always know what i want and not give up until i get it.

My 25th birthday is just around the corner and i couldn’t be more happy with how life has turned out. I’ve achieved so much, i’ve lost people along the way but i’ve gained alot more. Life is a cheeky little thing. I am fully aware that people go through so much struggle and can’t see that light but if your reading this and you feel this way and you don’t have anyone in your corner to walk with to that shinny beacon of light, i will be there with you by your side. No matter where i am in this world i want to always be there for my people, my family, my friends or even strangers. I want to restore faith in humanity by doing little things to put a smile on their face.

 

So if you are still reading this, thank you for staying. But if there is one thing you can take away from this is that, don’t follow society’s norms, be your own person. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing anything either. Don’t be a follower. Lead the pack. BE A MAVERICK!!!!!.

 

– Kimmie

 

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Ending a chapter in your incredible journey

Hi Everyone,

Kimmie here. It’s been a while since I’ve last blogged. I guess life and uni has gotten in the way. I start my new job on Friday.  Im so excited.

For the last couple of months I’ve been trying not to stress about the impending doom that is finishing off my degree. A lot of students face this feeling throughout their life, you’ll face it at the end of primary school, high school even when your changing jobs.

It can be very scary. You don’t know where you will be. Well that’s the future, we don’t know where we will be, that is what makes the future so exciting, just enjoy the ride.

Many people have asked me what my plans are and I’ve told them my 20 year plan. But the thing is that even though I have a plan for my future doesn’t mean I have every detail mapped out which scares the living daylights out of me.

 

I guess the point of me writing this blog is because I’ve seen friends and family go through this self doubt and I haven’t been able to reassure them that everything will be ok because I haven’t gone through it myself. Well if your reading this and your scared bonkers where your future will lead you just relax, take every opportunity as it comes to you. I always say that we are all on a highway and there are so many turn offs, you may go down a turn off road and realise it wasn’t the best turn but you can always find yourself back on that highway. The highway is I guess a metaphor to your main goal in life. It could be a career goal or a personal goal, you will always find yourself back on the right path even if you make a couple of wrong turns.

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Well I hope this has helped whoever is reading this.

 

Don’t forget to share with your people.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 places to travel

Kimmie here,

so todays blog is on my top 10 places i’d love to travel to.

I’ve never been outside of Australia, so i’m really excited for my first overseas trip. I was planning to go to America but i decided not to, you can guess why.

So my top 10 places i’d love to travel to are:

 

  1. Vancouver, Canada.

I choose Vancouver because alot of my favourite movies and tv shows are filmed there. It’s always cold in Canada and I LOVE THE COLD WEATHER…

 

2. Toronto, Canada

Again another Canadian city. Beautiful city from what i’ve seen online.

 

3. New York, United States of America

I will eventually move to this lovely state. Home of Broadway. I love me some broadway but also it has such a rich historical scene aswell.

 

4. Los Angeles, United States of America

I’ve only had dreams of living here. Celebrity central. The houses are unreal in LA aswell as the beaches. Another city with historical value.

 

5. Nashville, United States of America

Home of country music. Need i saw more.

 

6. Hawaii, United States of America

Hawaii would be a dream come true. It’s so beautiful and serene.

 

7. Las Vegas, United States of America

it’s  Vegas baby. The bright lights look so captivating.

 

8. London, United Kingdom

it has the very iconic Big Ben. Punk Rock was huge in London and pretty much started in England so visiting all the hotspots would be so interesting

 

9. Paris, France

The city of Love!!!

 

10. Beijing, China

Another city which so much history and culture will definitely be an eye opener.

 

These are my top 10 places I’d love to travel to. Hopefully one day I will be able visit all these place maybe even live in them as well, you never know what the future has in store for you.

 

 

 

 

Everyone has mentors

Hi everyone, Kimmie here.

So today’s blog is on my mentors. I wouldn’t be the person i am today without the constant support and advice from my mentors. My first mentor was Lauren who i met the South Australian Youth Parliament. This was when my journey began. Youth Parliament brought me out of my shell and helped me become the extraordinary person i am now.

 

Today i don’t have alot of mentors but there are so many people i do ask advice for. Especially at university. I am so grateful to have these remarkable individuals in my life to help guide me down the right path, it is so easy to shift into another direction.

Yes your family can be mentors to you but sometimes it’s good to get advice away from that area, someone with fresh eyes who can see what your missing. Someone to help you see the bigger picture.

 

Until next time

 

follow me on social media

 

Kimmie

My First…Year at University

Hi my lovely readers.

Kimmie here. So today’s blog is on MY FIRST YEAR AT UNIVERSITY.

So i am originally from South Australia. So i took the courage to move to Melbourne and follow my dream which is to own my record label. The first university i went to was JMC Academy and studied a Bachelor of Entertainment Business Management. Financially it wasn’t for me. So i applied to study a Diploma of Business (Public Relations) at RMIT University.

To be honest i had no idea what i was getting myself into. I had just moved into my apartment and i wasn’t really prepared for what lied ahead. I was nervous as hell but i found my place. The Ngarara Willim Centre helped me find my place, i met many people who inspired me to go that extra distance.

6 months after starting at RMIT i applied for the Bachelor Of Communication (Public Relations). I was so nervous for that too, because it’s such a hard course to get into. So i consulted a lecturer who i thought i had great rapport with. I told them i wanted to go do the bachelor and they told me because i had only been doing public relations for 6 months, i wouldn’t get in. I was so shocked that a lecturer would say that, they didn’t discourage me to apply but for them think i wouldn’t get in. haha!, i showed them. I did the interview and because it was a group interview, the students i talked to even said i should do the advanced diploma and wait. I don’t think so.

When people don’t believe i can do something, there’s something inside me that has to prove them wrong and then laugh in their face.

That pretty much was my first year of uni. The following year i started the first club at RMIT for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students but that story is for another time.

If anyone tells you, you can’t do something, prove them wrong. That feeling you get when you’ve done something they can’t believe you could do is so rewarding. No, Never and Can’t is not in my vocab. I owe my success to those 3 words.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to follow me on social media.

~~Kimmie Lovegrove~~

 

My Last Concert Experience

Hi Y’all, Kimmie here.

hmmm my last concert experience. That would be DNCE.

I had the time of my life.

So i entered a competition through the hot hits. (thank you Optus). It was a small crowd of 50 people. I got to bring a plus one. I brought my friend Ruby with me. When i told her she was so excited.

Seeing DNCE was a dream come true. The main reason was because of Joe Jonas.

So i’ve been living on my own since i was 15. For 6 months i was really struggling being on my own, The Jonas Brothers helped me get through it. I didn’t have someone i could lean on then. Yeah i had my friends and they helped me get through but they couldn’t be there all the time. There’s something about music that can take you to another place, listening to the Jonas Brothers was my happy place when i needed to escape the real world.

I always vowed i would meet the Jonas Brothers and thank them for helping me get through those dark times when no one else was around. So seeing DNCE was my first step.

I didn’t get to meet Joe but seeing right in front of my face does the trick.

Being alone is not very fun. But there is always someone out there who is going through worse. For me the Jonas Brothers got me through alot of dark and lonely times.

I know writing all this deep and personal stuff in a blog may be a little public but i hope my words and experiences will reach someone that is struggling and i hope my story helps you. You are never alone…

 

Here a few pics i took..