entertainment

Miranda Tapsell says she doesn't feel like an Australian.

“When I go to Australia Day, I don’t feel like an Australian”.

Indigenous Australian actress Miranda Tapsell may be best known for her award-winning role in Love Child and her appearance as Cynthia on The Sapphires, but today she has people talking about her stunning performance on The Verdict.

During her appearance on the new Channel Nine show last night, Tapsell spoke candidly to host Karl Stefanovic about racism in Australia, saying she sometimes doesn’t “feel like an Australian”.

Tapsell said she had endured racist name-calling and did not feel included in Australia Day. Screenshot: Channel Nine

When Stefanovic asked during the interview whether she considered herself Australian, the Larrakia woman responded: “No. Not until I can celebrate Australia Day too.

“When I go to Australia Day, I don’t feel like an Australian that day because essentially people are telling me I can’t be a part of that.”

The 27-year-old performer also told Stefanovic she had been called cruel, racist names growing up that were “quite crippling”.

She said because her father is not Aboriginal, she was always asked, “what are you?” and had been called a “half caste” — even though, as she powerfully put it, “Im not a half caste. Im not half a person”.

“It was unfair for me to have to define my heritage but others didn’t have to, they were just Australian,” she added.

The lack of diversity in the media also affected her negatively in her youth.

“I felt invisible as a teenage girl,” she explained.

“I’d look at the women that represented a lot of the media – they were tall, they were blonde, they were blue-eyed, they had fair skin. And here I am, this short, Aboriginal woman and I thought, ‘there’s not much chance for me’.”

“I felt invisible as a teenage girl,” Tapsell said of growing up seeing a lack of diversity in the media. Screenshot: Channel Nine

Tapsell also reflected on Australia’s lack of progress on Indigenous issues since Kevin rudd’s 2007 apology to the stolen generations.

While Rudd’s “sorry” needed to be said, the actress suggested that “things have gone a bit backwards” since then.

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“The gap in health and education is widening. Aboriginal people with cancer are 60 percent more likely to die from it, Aboriginal women far more likely to die from domestic violence,” she said.

“When I read about [AFL star] Adam Goodes, I felt those jibes. I’m Aboriginal too… that told me of my worth as well.”

Miranda Tapsell the verdict
Indigenous AFL player and Brownlow winner Adam Goodes recently retired from the game after a series of racial taunts. Photo: Getty

Her comments were largely met with applause on social media, with viewers thanking her for her honesty.

“Intelligent, thoughtful and honest,” Nakkiah Lui wrote.

“I hope this nation appreciates her brave and honest story,” Offspring star Matt Le Nevez wrote.