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Aboriginal Community Angry At Portrayal In TV's "Struggle Street"

Mount Druitt in Sydney's west is home to Australia's largest Aboriginal population.

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Residents say the controversial SBS documentary series Struggle Street failed to represent the large Indigenous population in Mount Druitt.

BuzzFeed News asked locals to talk about what their community is really like.

Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed

Gloria Matthews, 87, has lived in the same house in Mount Druitt since 1970. Ms Matthews says strip away the stigma associated with the area and you'll find a strong Aboriginal community full of pride.

Ms Matthews says the biggest challenge for the community right now is how to fight the methamphetamine epidemic claiming the lives of young people in Mount Druitt: "The drugs are terrible and I'm so sad about that, because it seems to be getting worse. They have ice now, the ice it’ll kill you as soon as look at you. We (Aboriginal elders) don't know where it comes from or how kids pick it up, we feel so useless we can’t do anything."

Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed

James Hunter, 14, says being a teenager from a large Aboriginal family means that he and his cousins are constant targets for police surveillance. He told BuzzFeed News his father has been racially profiled by the local police.

James believes Rugby League could be his ticket to success, "Footy, heaps of role models in footy. All the best players are Koori; Jonathan Thurston and Sam Thaiday. Makes me wanna grow up and be a footy player."

Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed

Darlene Nipps, 52, has lived in Mt Druitt since the early 1970s.

Ms. Nipps says the younger generation in Mount Druitt must be supported to step up and honour the legacy of elders that fought for Indigenous rights. "Unfortunately we are losing all our elders, they've done their bit, now it's the younger generation's turn to take up the baton and run with it."

Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed

Jarru Matthews, 14, says Mount Druitt gets a bad wrap and that the media never show the positive side of the area.

Jarru says, "I was disappointed by Struggle Street, they didn't show the good. They also didn't show much of the Aboriginal community either, which is part of the real Mount Druitt."

Allan Clarke / BuzzFeed

Lizzie May raised her family in Mount Druitt. The former drug and alcohol worker says even though it's the largest Aboriginal community in the country, Mount Druitt doesn't have many Indigenous services.

Ms May says this is damaging lives, "our people have no where to go, we're only portrayed as negative drunks. We have no youth centre and just one day care centre for our elders, which is not a great deal considering the amount of elders. It's a sad, sad state."

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