- Quaden Bayles, an Aboriginal Australian who has dwarfism went viral last week after his mother posted a video of him following a bullying incident.
- While the video has since been deleted, it was the latest example of him and his mother, Yarraka Bayles, speaking out against discrimination faced by people with dwarfism.
- His mother has called out bullying and bigotry both toward people with dwarfism and Australia's indigenous population.
- His sister defended her brother on Instagram, and she, like many other members of her family, has a history of activism.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Quaden Bayles, a nine-year-old boy from Australia with dwarfism had the attention of the world last week when his mother posted a video of him crying over bullies at school. When controversy ensued, Guyala Bayles, his older sister, stepped in to defend him.
"I say F - - K the bullies and the haters! You're the coolest, smartest, strongest and the most sweetest kid I know!" his sister, a 20-year-old model, said on Instagram. "You're not alone and we're all here for you my bruh."
It's not the first time Quaden has appeared on her social media, either. She posted a video with her brother on her TikTok earlier this month.
Yes I just woke up, don’t @ me! But my little bro has been asking for ages to do a TikTok with me, so thought I’d do this one and surprise him ahaha😂
In addition to being a model, Quaden's 20-year-old sister is an activist for Australia's indigenous population. In a video posted last month to Instagram, she called for the abolition of Australia Day, which celebrates the first British ships to arrive on Australian soil.
"I say abolish the whole thing altogether and focus your energy on; why our kids are still being take[sic] away, why there are numerous unexplained Aboriginal deaths in custody, why our kids are killing themselves at such an early age, why the incarceration rate is increasing for our mob, why we have so many health problems, why we don't live a full healthy life, why the drug and alcohol rate is increasing within communities, why racism is still very alive in this country, why the government aren't engaging with Aboriginal people at a grass roots level," Bayles wrote in a caption in a post to her Instagram last month.
View this post on Instagram
Let’s start focusing on much larger affairs affecting our mob, then just a date that these silly fullas have no clue about anyway, there’s more important things to talk about then changing the date. I say abolish the whole thing altogether and focus your energy on; why our kids are still being take away, why there are numerous unexplained Aboriginal deaths in custody, why our kids are killing themselves at such an early age, why the incarceration rate is increasing for our mob, why we have so many health problems, why we don’t live a full healthy life, why the drug and alcohol rate is increasing within communities, why racism is still very alive in this country, why the government aren’t engaging with Aboriginal people at a grass roots level! We know what’s best for our people, so let us look after our own mob and country and you look after yours ayy! ??❤️ Let’s talk facts ✊?
Quaden's sister is not the only member of the Bayles family tree who has taken part in activism for Australia's aboriginal community. In fact, activism has been a cornerstone of his family for generations.
Quaden's grandfather, Tiga, was a well-known activist and radio host
In 2016, Yarraka Bayles, Quaden's mother and Tiga's daughter, told "The Point," a news program on the Australian network SBS, that her father was known as "the voice of, you know, Indigenous Australia."
"To hear so many people say thank you for giving us a voice…that's not just within our own mob and communities, that's all over the world," she told the network following his death.
Tiga Bayles died in 2016 at the age of 62 following a battle with cancer, according to The Point report. Bayles was known for his Monday-to-Friday radio show "Let's Talk," which was broadcast on Australia's National Indigenous Radio Service of Brisbane Indigenous Media Association.
In 1997, Quaden's grandpa won the 'Deadly Award' for Indigenous Broadcaster of the year, and just two years before his death, in 2014, he was one of the first to be awarded Amnesty International Australia's Media Award for an episode of his radio show titled "Let's Talk Decolonisation."
The 52-minute long roundtable discussion dealt with how colonialism had impacted Australia's indigenous population, and discussed current ramifications of colonization and discussed the ways and means of dismantling its impacts."While other journalists flourished the rhetoric of politicians with their own shallow analysis, Tiga went to the source. He gave strength to so many mob who are so often ignored, who are subsumed into the vicious 24-hour media cycle," Amy McQuire wrote for New Matilda at the time of his death.
Tiga Bayles was also at the forefront of protests in the 1970s and 1980s that rejected the celebration of Australia's colonization some 200 years early, The Point said.
It's a cause that remains true to indigenous activists today, like his granddaughter, Guyana.
This year, on January 26 —Australia Day — protestors took to city streets nationwide. The protestors, many of which support renaming the holiday "Invasion Day" or "Survival Day," think the holiday should transition to a day of mourning for the indigenous lives lost to colonization.
Supporters of the movement this year called for the reduction in the deaths of Black Australians and for the greater ownership of land by Aboriginal people, according to ABC News in Australia.
Maureen Watson, Quaden's great-grandmother, also advocated for the rights of Australia's indigenous people
Quaden's great-grandmother, "Aunty Maureen" Watson, who was also Tiga Bayles' mother, also advocated for the Aboriginal Australia community. Watson, who died in 2009, according to The Australian Women's Register, was a poet, singer, actor, and political activist.
Watson was known for founding the Aboriginal Peoples Gallery in 1981. She was arrested three times for her protesting the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane in 1982. According to the Brisbane Times, the Australian indigenous community used international attention Australia received that year to protest for greater land-owning rights and self-determination. Protests were prohibited at the games, leading the arrest of Watson and other activists.
Tiga Bayles regularly cited his mother as a source of inspiration for his activism. His mother had a monthly segment on his radio show, New Matilda reported.
In addition to his sister, Quaden and his mother have been vocal about social issues
Following the massive spread of his viral video, which had been viewed around 25 million times before it was deleted from his mother's Facebook page, Quaden was invited to walk out on Saturday with the National Rugby League's Indigenous All Stars team.
While much of Quaden and his mother, Yarraka Bayles', activism has revolved around his living with dwarfism, they've also made other political statements.
"We are losing way too many people because of bullying, because of discrimination, because of racism. There's so many factors of bullying," she said, according to the BBC.
"On top of that, being an Aboriginal boy with a disability, people don't understand that's a double-edged sword. There's racism and then there's discrimination because of the disability."
In a poem his sister wrote when she was 18 and read aloud in a video posted to YouTube last month, the 20-year-old model spoke about the assimilation of aboriginal culture.
"My elders once healthy living past 100, and now lucky to live past their 50s," she said in the poem, titled "Bimbi Outlook." She continued, "and our poor disconnected youth are killing themselves before they even turn 20 because they have no connection to their ancestral roots. Our land was once plenty and we weren't put on mute, and we could see our dreaming, now some of us don't know anything about our beautiful, rich culture, stripped, stolen, taken."
Bayles said she wrote the poem when she was 18 years old.
Quaden and his mother, Yarraka, have largely disappeared from social media as their video grew in popularity and controversy spread. Guyala, who before her defense had been uninvolved with the viral video, has maintained her public online presence.
The nine-year-old at the center of the viral video has made political statements, too. In a video posted to his mother's Facebook account two months ago, Quaden called the Queen racist and directly called out Scott Morrison, Australia's prime minister, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
Neither Guyala or Yarraka Bayles returned Insider's request for comment.
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