Armani Mooka, 11. Townsville hosted a Black Lives Matter rally at Strand Park, despite Covid-19 regulations advising against large gatherings. Hundreds showed up for the moving, peaceful protest. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Armani Mooka, 11. Townsville hosted a Black Lives Matter rally at Strand Park, despite Covid-19 regulations advising against large gatherings. Hundreds showed up for the moving, peaceful protest. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

11yo girl stands up, speaks out on schoolyard racism

At just eleven years of age, Armani Mooka has already been the victim of cruel racial taunts and bullying in the schoolyard - even labelled a "gorilla" in grade four.

But holding her grandmother's hand and standing in front of hundreds at a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally in Townsville, Armani had one strong message for the crowd: "Enough is enough."

Armani is the granddaughter of organiser and survivor of the Stolen Generation, Florence Onus, and says she was inspired by her grandmother to take a stand against racism.

"I think I get my strength from her because we both believe in god who has taught us to be leaders, and being her granddaughter means a lot to me," Armani said.

"She's the best woman ever, and because of her, I can."

Florence Onus and granddaughter Armani Mooka, 11. Townsville hosted a Black Lives Matter rally at Strand Park, despite Covid-19 regulations advising against large gatherings. Hundreds showed up for the moving, peaceful protest. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Florence Onus and granddaughter Armani Mooka, 11. Townsville hosted a Black Lives Matter rally at Strand Park, despite Covid-19 regulations advising against large gatherings. Hundreds showed up for the moving, peaceful protest. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Dreaming of going to university to become a vet, Armani opened up about the bullying she has dealt with at school since grade two, revealing she's been called names including gorilla and told she smells.

It's a situation which makes her sad and upset, and even at times mad, but she's channelling those emotions into helping others.

Despite the name calling at school, she says she wants to help other students with their assignments, especially when it means she can teach them about her indigenous culture.

Townsville hosted a Black Lives Matter rally at Strand Park, despite Covid-19 regulations advising against large gatherings. Hundreds showed up for the moving, peaceful protest. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Townsville hosted a Black Lives Matter rally at Strand Park, despite Covid-19 regulations advising against large gatherings. Hundreds showed up for the moving, peaceful protest. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

At Saturday's rally, Armani wanted to show people that it's not only adults who are victimised because of the colour of their skin.

She said she finds hope in the support of those who attended the rally from all backgrounds, cultures and walks of life.

"A lot of people are supporting us and its making me feel better and better as I hear all these great stories of people supporting us," Armani said.

"I want to see less black fellas in prison, I want them to be free and to be themselves.

"Stop racism, that's why I came here today, to stop it all."

Originally published as 11yo girl stands up, speaks out on schoolyard racism


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