On Monday, Teach Queensland released an ad which was meant to encourage teachers to work in remote and Aboriginal communities, but it’s faced a huge amount of backlash.
The ad in question featured Caroline McCarty, Deputy Principal-Secondary of Bowen State High School lovingly talk about her “soft spot for the trouble makers”, the problem? She’s surrounded by Indigenous students while she talks about the “kid that everyone thought wouldn’t make it”.
It’s a cringe worthy oversight that speaks to a larger implicit racism in Australia, and people were fuming that the ad perpetuated dangerous stereotypes.
One of the children in the picture is the son of Dr Chelsea Bond, an academic at the University of Queensland, and she was appalled by the use of her son’s image on the poster.
"He’s actually the kid who outperforms academically, so it was kind of funny, like how removed is our reality from the stories that are produced about us?" she told NITV.
"What annoyed me was that I’m his mother. I believe in him, I know he’s going to make it... he’s misunderstood by the Education Department, not by us.
"This is not just demeaning to my child, it’s demeaning to the family who love him, who don’t need the white saviour to rescue him from himself and the people who love him."
She added on Twitter that this issue wasn’t exclusively an Education Queensland issue – the ad had highlighted the subtle discrimination felt by Indigenous Australians every day.
Teach Queensland took the ad down and took to Facebook to apologise for “the offence we have caused”.
The status wasn’t enough for many who felt it stopped short of acknowledging the mistakes made by the organisation and why the ad was so problematic.
The ad was posted on the eve of Indigenous literacy day, a national celebration of Indigenous culture, stories, language and literacy.