Dear Michelle Obama,
My name is Christine Anu. I come from humble beginnings in the Torres Strait Islands, located off the top of North Queensland, Australia. Growing up we survived on fish, mango and damper. We had no electricity or money and there was a housing shortage. Domestic violence was rife and there were little to no opportunities for Indigenous women.
Through determination instilled in me by my mother, I broke that cycle to forge a successful career in the Australian entertainment industry spanning more than two decades. As a black woman growing up in Australia, there were very few role models to look up to who had broken every mould. But it’s 2017 and we have been gifted you.
You have left a legacy that I don’t think will be matched in my lifetime. I am 47 years old with a successful career and two beautiful children yet I find myself looking to you as my role model. Not as First Lady, but as an independent woman, a working mother, a black woman, a leader, a wife and businesswoman.
As a black woman who has spent her life fighting for equality in a predominantly white society, I watched in awe as you entered the White House, curious as to how the first black first lady would overcome the racism and vitriol hurled at you through the election campaign. With class, sass, style and a sense of humour, that’s how!