Meyne Wyatt has just been named as Australia’s sole inclusion into TIME100 Next, a list that highlights 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future in 2021.
It’s a pretty huge honour for the writer, activist, artist, and winner of the 2020 Archibald Packing Room Prize, with Wyatt included in the same ranks as Lakeith Stanfield, Amanda Gorman, Hunter Schafer, Paloma Elsesser, Chloe Zhao, Telfar Clemens, and more young people leading their fields in science, politics, sport, and the arts.
Though Wyatt’s creative outputs range from writing plays to painting award-winning self-portraits, it’s his searing monologue in the wake of George Floyd’s death that his TIME profile focuses on, praising him for his ability to strike a nerve in a country that has 441 Aboriginal deaths in custody on its conscience.
‘In Australia, as demonstrations renewed attention to the racial inequality faced by Indigenous Australians, the actor and writer Meyne Wyatt delivered a searing monologue about the experience of living through systemic racism,’ recounts Amy Gunia for TIME. ‘The sharp lines, written by Wyatt for his play City of Gold, carried a strong message. “Seeing us as animals and not as people—that sh-t needs to stop,” he said. “Black deaths in custody—that sh-t needs to stop.”’
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