NAIDOC Week 2023 Is ‘For Our Elders’… So, Let’s Hear From Nan Millie

NAIDOC Week is an annual opportunity for all Australians to celebrate First Nations Peoples.

This year, the theme is ‘For Our Elders’, so this week, Nan Millie Ingram was invited onto Blak Matters to speak with co-hosts Teela Reid and MC.

Nan Millie is a Wiradjuri matriarch who was forced onto the Erambie mission as a child and has spent her life advocating for Aboriginal rights.

In this episode, Nan Millie shares the changes she has seen across our country throughout her lifetime, and where she would like to see our country go into the future.


“We grew up and we were under total control of the mission managers. The mission managers were appointed by the government to be sent out to a mission to look after the Aboriginal people.

“The mission managers… they were terrible people, these mission managers, and they were just more like commandants of a prisoner of war camp.

“They were also there to stop us from doing anything.

“But growing up on a mission, I worked for mission managers for rations and there were about a dozen of us young girls from 13 or 14 onwards. You had to go and work with a mission manager because you had to help your family to put food on the table.”

Now recognised by her people as an Elder, Nan Millie continues advocating for Aboriginal rights. She says her biggest hope for Australia is that they hear the voices of First Nations People.

“The voice will be heard, and I just hope that they put the right people on there and they don’t set up a kitchen cabinet like they did before and just handpick their people to go on.

There will be a way to get the right people on there, um, to represent the voice of the Aboriginal people.

“Those people have to have the support of their community to get up there and tell them what it is that they want to improve the lives of Aboriginal people, particularly our young people.”

Blak Matters provides an inclusive, authentic exploration of First Nations issues from a First Nations perspective. Delivered as an honest but positive conversation between friends, MC & Teela Reid, in under 20 minutes. Listen now on the Listnr app.