INTERVIEW: Steph Tisdell talks NAIDOC week, comedy and creating change

Holly from The Press Gang

We are celebrating NAIDOC this week and I interviewed Steph Tisdell, a proud indigenous woman who loves to share what her culture means to her. She also happens to be a very funny comedian. Steph has been on TV, won comedy awards and is even going to be in a movie.

I asked Steph what NAIDOC means to her and other questions.

Steph, what does NAIDOC week mean to you? NAIDOC Week is very important to me, and I hope all Australians! It’s a time to celebrate Aboriginal history! Aboriginal culture is the oldest continuing culture on Earth, which is amazing! Did you know Aboriginal people survived through the Ice Age! We learned how to make our lives sustainable and suit the needs of the place we inhabited. It’s a very exciting thing to celebrate our resilience.

What is it like being indigenous? Being Indigenous is just like being like you except we have a very different history. Most humans are fundamentally the same, but my family has a very long history of loving and connecting to the land that we come from. My people come from the rainforest and so through history, we have learned how to live off and love the land to make sure it looks after us and we look after it best.

What is it like being an indigenous female comedian? It can be a little bit lonely! There aren’t a lot of Indigenous female comedians out there so I don’t have anyone to ask questions like “how do I do this?” “will an audience like this?” So, in some ways, I’m being a little bit of a leader. And that is quite exciting, really!

How do you include living life as an indigenous woman in to your comedy shows? Well, comedy usually comes from life and my life happens to be as an Indigenous woman! I believe in creating change through laughter though. So I think about all the ways that I’d like to see change for Indigenous people in Australia and I try to write jokes from that angle.

What’s your favourite part of being a comedian? Performing

Thanks Steph. Happy NAIDOC week!

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