"What would you do?" Nakkiah Lui has one question for all non-Indigenous Australians.


Warning: This article contains the names of Indigenous people who have died.

Actor, writer and Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman Nakkiah Lui has urged non-Indigenous Australians to feel outrage about the police brutality in this country towards Indigenous people.

Lui was a panellist on Tuesday night’s episode of The Project, dedicated mainly to the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and Australia’s own historical, systematic abuse of First Nation people.

Nakkiah Lui’s impassioned plea on The Project is a must-watch. Post continues below video.

Video via Network 10

Thousands of protesters marched in Sydney’s CBD on Tuesday evening, demanding an end to mistreatment of Indigenous Australians. As reported by The Guardian, at least 432 Indigenous people have died in police custody since Australia’s Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991.

Joining panellists Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, and Peter Helliar, Lui expanded on a tweet she made earlier in the day bringing attention to these deaths.

“These people aren’t just numbers,” Lui said later in the segment. “They have names. David Dungay, Tanya Day. And they are loved – they are still loved.

“So what I want to say is just, the people who are watching, think about your loved ones. What would you do if they died begging for help? What would you do if they died with a knee on their neck?” she said, referencing the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in Minneapolis, who died after a white police officer held his knee to his neck for more than eight minutes, while Floyd begged for help.


“How angry would you be? What I’m saying is be angry for us. Stand with us. Protest with us, because we need you.

“There was never no wonderful Australia, but what we can do is create hope by creating a better world for each other… I don’t want to live in a country where names become numbers. I just don’t.”

Listen: In the wake of George Floyd’s death, The Quicky looks at Australia’s own shameful record of deaths in custody.

On Tuesday, NSW Police confirmed they were investigating one of their officers who was filmed kicking the legs out from under an Indigenous teenager, and pinning him to the ground, during an arrest in inner-Sydney on Monday.

Aly asked Lui if she had hope, to which she replied “You create hope”.

“It’s important to remember that these conversations aren’t hopeless,” she explained. “They’re hard conversations. They’re uncomfortable.

“But they’re important and they’re not hopeless. Because the only way that we can listen, learn and act to create a better future is by talking about the tough things.”

We can all help by advocating for people of colour and ensuring we are actively taking part in the conversation to dismantle systemic racism.

Earlier in the show, Cheryl Axelby, National Co-Chair – Change The Record, told The Project “we need the rest of Australia to stand with us to start stamping out the systemic racism that’s happening in this country”.

If you have the means, please also donate to Indigenous-led organisations and campaigns.

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Feature image: Network 10.