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Maritime training, cultural programs, radio broadcasts, musical performance …

My name is Timothy Gray and I’m a Gumbaynggirr/Wiradjuri/Bidjigal man and I live on Gadigal country in Redfern.

I’ve been working as a Visitor Services Guide at Barangaroo Reserve for eight years. We run Aboriginal cultural tours Monday to Saturday on the Reserve, as well as other First Nations-themed tours and events.

Since 2006, I have been involved with the Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation where I did my maritime training, and now I’m on the board of directors.

Watching Tribal Warrior grow over the years has been an amazing experience, and I’m so proud of what everyone has and still is achieving in our community. Tribal Warrior started as a maritime training organisation and has now extended into tourism with cultural tours on the harbour as well as charted cruises.

Clean Slate Without Prejudice is a successful boxing program run by Tribal Warrior in partnership with the local police and major stakeholders including the Governor General David Hurley, and most importantly, the community.

A shout-out to Shane Phillips and Luke Freudenstein for starting such an amazing and important program, and Home which is led by Lillian. Tribal Warrior staff are always going above and beyond.

I also volunteer at Koori Radio as a broadcaster on Saturday evenings from 6 to 8pm and the show is called Social Change. This is important to me because I focus on world politics not just First Nations mob here, and we try to put a positive spin on whatever subject we come up with including climate change, war, etc.

Redfern is very close to my heart even though I’m not from here in terms of my tribal connections, although my Timbery ancestry is important for me, having connections to La Perouse and Wollongong.

Both of my parents’ families lived on The Block at some stage, so the Buchanans on my mum’s side and the Grays/Smiths on my biological father’s side. I was fostered out to non-Indigenous parents when I was 10 months old and grew up not far from Redfern, all the while not knowing my family was living there.

I play piano and sing in our band, the Green Hand Band. Live music is so important to me and my community in Redfern and the South Sydney area. We have just started recording an album with all new songs which will be released later in the year.

Green Hand Band is the best way I can express myself, my political views, spreading the message of love and compassion. My songwriting is mostly inspired by Bob Marley and our music has influences such as No Fixed Address, Coloured Stone, the Black Turtles, the Wailers, etc.

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This is one in a series of articles by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living and working on Gadigal land. The series, a joint project of the SSH and the City of Sydney, is curated by Aunty Norma Ingram.

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