Bronwyn Carlson
Macquarie University, Australia

Keynote address

"Indigenous people rise up

Social media, activism and global networks"


Social media has enabled the bridging of distance, time and nation states to mobilise Indigenous people to build networks across the globe where we can stand in solidarity with one another. These platforms provide the means to amplify our voices as we tackle ongoing discrimination and violence inflicted upon our bodies, families, and communities. No longer will violence against us be unknown to the world – as avid social media users, Indigenous people are forming global coalitions to stand in solidarity with one another and expose settler violence in all its forms. From campaigns such as #SOSBlackAustralia, #NODAPL, and #BLM to toppling colonial monuments to expressing our grief and loss for murdered and missing people – Indigenous people are rising up and demanding to be heard.


Professor Bronwyn Carlson is the Head of the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University.


Bronwyn was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Indigenous grant in 2013 for research on Aboriginal identity and community online (IN1301000360), and a second ARC in 2016 for research on Indigenous help-seeking on social media (IN160100049).


In 2019 she was awarded a third consecutive ARC grant (IN200100010), specifically focusing on Indigenous experiences of online violence. Bronwyn is the author of The Politics of Identity: Who Counts as Aboriginal Today? (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2016), which includes a chapter on identity and community on social media.


She is widely published on the topic of Indigenous cultural, social, intimate and political engagements on social media including co-editing and contributing to two special issues; the Australasian Journal of Information Systems (2017) on “Indigenous Activism on Social Media’ and Media International Australia (2018) on “Indigenous Innovation on Social Media” and an edited volume with Rutgers University Press (2021) Indigenous People Rise Up: The Global Ascendancy of Social Media Activism.


She is also the founding and managing editor of the Journal of Global Indigeneity and director of the Centre for Global Indigenous Futures. Bronwyn is an active member of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) and a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Sociology. In 2020 she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.