Uncle Albert McNamara is a respected Elder who is part of the truth telling project Ngaluk Waangkiny (us talking) launched in celebration for this year’s Reconciliation Week.

Born and raised in Perth, McNamara has experienced discrimination against Aboriginal people for almost seven decades.

He has been fighting for Aboriginal rights his whole life and doesn’t plan on slowing down. 

Albert and his wife Irene
Photo credit: Cole Baxter

He has attended many advisory committees throughout Perth, While also being part of the national group as an advocate for Indigenous voices in the Australian Government. 

“I’m trying to get Aboriginal people a voice in parliament, we do need Aboriginal people in parliament to make these policies and guidelines for Aboriginal people,” McNamara said.

When the City of Perth reached out to the Indigenous community looking for Elders to educate them on Indigenous issues McNamara put his hand up to share knowledge and personal experiences.

His will to do so came with high hopes the truth would finally be told and shared from an Indigenous perspective. 

“The first thing I said was if you wanna work with Aboriginal people you have to employ Aboriginal people,” McNamara said.

The project aims to raise awareness of Australia’s often white-washed history.  

For as long as I remember, When I was at school I use to get called n****r, b***g spearchucker, darkies,” McNamara said.

Albert McNamara
photo credit: Hugo Sando

McNamara’s is an experience many Indigenous people have endured throughout their lives.  

Usually kept in the dark, Elders are now trying to bring these experiences to light.

“People only put in books what they want you to read about,” McNamara Said.

“They like to cover up, sugarcoat things.” 

The truth-telling project is a media legacy for the Elders, who will leave their mark in the pages of black history by speaking up, standing up and pushing for leaders to listen to them and acknowledge the truth. 

“It’s good to see Aboriginal people out there being seen and being heard and things are happening,” McNamara said.

“Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words, you gotta act on top of what you are saying.”