Racism and racialisation can be framed as a threat to one’s ontological security. This article draws from qualitative life history interviews conducted with 11 Aboriginal people who are part of an existing longitudinal health study based in the city of Brisbane. The narratives revealed that perceptions of racism and racialisation were a significant consideration for these people when asked to reflect on their identity and wellbeing over time. Though less frequently overt, racism was often seen to be perpetrated from within one’s social circle, revealing the complicated process of engaging, contesting, rejecting, ignoring, minimising, avoiding and defining racism. The findings highlight the agency of Aboriginal people in adapting their behaviour to avoid or minimise the dread of ontological insecurity.