Anthology of Australian Aboriginal Literature

Anthology of Australian Aboriginal Literature

Anita Heiss
Peter Minter
General Editor: Nicholas Jose
Copyright Date: 2008
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  • Book Info
    Anthology of Australian Aboriginal Literature
    Book Description:

    In a political system that renders them largely voiceless, Australia's Aboriginal people have used the written word as a powerful tool for over two hundred years. Anthology of Australian Aboriginal Literature presents a rich panorama of Aboriginal culture, history, and life through the writings of some of the great Australian Aboriginal authors. From Bennelong's 1796 letter to contemporary writing, Anita Heiss and Peter Minter have selected works that represent the range and depth of Aboriginal writing in English. Journalism, petitions, and political letters from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are brought together with major works of poetry, prose, and drama from the mid-twentieth century onward. These works voice not only the ongoing suffering of dispossession but the resilience of Australia's Aboriginal people, their hope and joy. Presenting some of the best, most distinctive writing produced in Australia, this groundbreaking anthology will captivate anyone interested in Aboriginal writing and culture.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-9717-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
    Mick Dodson

    TheMacquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literatureis of great importance to many both within Australia and internationally. Rich in diversity and content, it brings together a range of works that any serious student of Aboriginal history, life and culture will find invaluable. It will also be useful for those interested in more than just scholarship and academic pursuits; this volume is extremely significant from an Indigenous cultural perspective, containing many works that afford the reader a treasured insight into the Indigenous cultural world of Australia. This is a cultural product as much as it is a literary text. The...

    (pp. xiv-xvi)
    Nicholas Jose
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    Anita Heiss and Peter Minter
    (pp. xix-xx)
    (pp. 1-8)
    Anita Heiss and Peter Minter

    This anthology presents, for the first time in a single volume, the range and depth of Aboriginal writing in English from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Our selection begins with Bennelong’s letter of 1796, the first known text in the English language by an Aboriginal author. At the time of the letter’s composition, Bennelong had recently returned home from three years in England, where he had met King George III and only just survived as a racial curiosity. Bennelong’s short, disarming inquiry after the wellbeing of his sponsor, Lord Sydney, and his slightly melancholic petition for shipments...

  8. BENNELONG (c. 1764–1813)
    (pp. 9-9)

    A senior man of the Wangal people, captured near Sydney in November 1789, Bennelong became one of the first Aboriginal people to be introduced to English culture—learning English, adopting European ways and dress, and helping Governor Arthur Phillip learn the local language and traditions. He gave Phillip an Aboriginal name, which located him in a kinship relationship and thus enabled the communication of customs and relationships to the land. Bennelong travelled to England in 1792, and in 1795 returned home in poor health, unable to rebuild relations with his people and out of favour in the colony.

    Sidney Cove...

  9. THOMAS BRUNE (c. 1823–1841)
    (pp. 9-11)

    Born probably on Bruny Island, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), and educated at the Orphan School near Hobart, Brune was with George A. Robinson (1791–1866) on Flinders Island from 1836. Robinson, who had arrived from England in 1824, was commissioned in the 1930s to repatriate Indigenous Tasmanians to this camp on Bass Strait. Brune taught at the school and was apprenticed to the shoemaker. Among the few who could read and write English with any fluency, he and Walter George Arthur (qv) (who signs himself as Walter Juba Martin at the end of the following extract) produced and wrote the...

  10. MARY ANN ARTHUR (c. 1819–1871)
    (pp. 11-12)

    Mary Ann Cochrane was born in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), the daughter of Tarenootairer (Sarah Cochrane). One of the Palawa people removed from their homelands to Flinders Island by George A. Robinson, in March 1838 she married Walter George Arthur (qv). The couple accompanied Robinson to Port Phillip in 1839, and returned to Flinders Island in 1842 but soon fell out with the superintendent Henry Jeanneret. Both were literate and as unofficial leaders of their community were involved in writing a petition to the Queen of England. Later they lived at Oyster Cove where, after Walter’s death, Mary Ann married...

  11. WALTER GEORGE ARTHUR (c. 1820–1861)
    (pp. 12-14)

    The son of Rolepa, who was known to Europeans as ‘King George’, Walter was born in north-eastern Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). Separated from his people as a child, he became a petty thief in Launceston, and was known as ‘Friday’. In 1832, George A. Robinson took him to Flinders Island and then to the Orphan School near Hobart, where he was educated. Returning to Flinders Island in 1835, in January 1836 Friday was renamed in honour of the Governor (Sir) George Arthur. He became a teacher, worked as a carpenter and shoemaker and co-edited with Thomas Brune (qv) the settlement’s...

  12. KITTY BRANGY (c. 1859–1918)
    (pp. 14-14)

    Born probably in the Upper Murray area of Victoria, Kitty Brangy was the daughter of Brangie, leader of the Oxley Flats people, near Wangaratta. In 1881, Kitty Brangy wrote several letters from Wahgunyah to her sister Edith at Coranderrk, an Aboriginal reserve established in 1816 near Healesville, Victoria. These letters demonstrate the strength of Indigenous family and kinship ties at a time when authorities were systematically trying to break them down.

    My dear sister I write these few lines hoping you are quite well as it leaves us All at present. My dear sister I am very sorry that I...

  13. WILLIAM BARAK (c. 1824–1903)
    (pp. 15-15)

    An artist and elder of the Wurundjeri people, also known as ‘the King of the Yarra Tribe’, Barak was moved from his country when Melbourne was settled. He was educated at a mission school (1837–39) and was later a member of the Native Police Force. From 1863 he lived at Coranderrk, an Aboriginal reserve, where he undertook religious studies and was baptised and confirmed a Presbyterian.

    Barak became a respected spokesman for his people in the late 1870s. Until his death he was the acknowledged leader at Coranderrk, and his petitions, public appearances and contact with leaders such as...

  14. ANNIE RICH (c. 1859–1937)
    (pp. 15-16)

    Born at Murat Station (Ceduna), SA, at ten Annie Rich was sent to Victoria by her white pastoralist father to work as a domestic servant. Made pregnant, probably by her employer Alexander Jeffrey, she took refuge at Lake Condah Mission Station in 1880, but after the birth of her baby the superintendent, Reverend Johann Stähle, refused to allow her to leave. Her plea to the Board for Protection of Aborigines rejected, she ran away but was captured and sent back to Lake Condah. Later she married Alf McDonald, with whom she had seven children.

    Mission Station

    Lake Condah

    April 5th...

  15. BESSIE CAMERON (c. 1851–1895)
    (pp. 16-17)

    The child of a Noongar couple, Bessie Flower spent her childhood at an Anglican boarding school in Annesfield, WA. As a young woman she travelled to Sydney and furthered her education in English literature, history, scripture and music.

    In a plan devised by the Reverend Hagenauer to ensure the maintenance of Christianity in Aboriginal belief systems, Flower travelled with a group of Aboriginal women from WA to Ramahyuck Mission, Victoria, in 1867. They were to be married to Christian Kurnai men; however Flower became the teacher at the Ramahyuck Mission school, a servant and tutor to the Hagenauer children.


  16. MAGGIE MOBOURNE (c. 1872–1917)
    (pp. 17-18)

    Maggie Mobourne was a Keerrupjmara woman from the Lake Condah region, Victoria. She married Ernest Mobourne in 1893, and together they vigorously protested against Reverend Johann Stähle’s treatment of Aboriginal people at the Lake Condah Mission. She wrote many letters, including one published in theHamilton Spectator, and as a result of their protests Mobourne and her husband were removed from Lake Condah Mission by the Victorian Board for the Protection of Aborigines in 1900.

    In 1907, Mobourne eloped with Henry Albert, but she returned to Ernest in 1910. They moved back to Lake Condah Mission but Mobourne was again...

  17. DAVID UNAIPON (1872–1967)
    (pp. 18-24)

    David Unaipon was a gifted Ngarrindjeri man born at the Point McLeay (Raukkan) Mission, SA. He attended the mission school until 1885, then worked as a servant for a family that encouraged his interest in philosophy, science and music, returning to the mission in 1890, where he continued to read widely, practise music and learn practical skills for employment. He married in 1902.

    Unaipon was known as ‘Australia’s Leonardo’ because of his intellectual capacity and inventions, which included a modified handpiece for shearing and nine other patents. Becoming a prominent Aboriginal voice in state and Commonwealth politics, he appeared as...

  18. NORMAN HARRIS (c. 1898–1968)
    (pp. 25-28)

    Norman Harris was born at Mount Helena, WA, and became a Noongar activist. His family were pioneer farmers in the Morawa region. In 1926, with his uncle, the civil rights leader William Harris, he formed an Aboriginal union, protesting against the treatment of Aboriginal Australians by state authorities. In 1934 he gave evidence before the Moseley Royal Commission. A farmer, gold miner and, later, a property owner in Perth, Harris married Eva Mary Phillips. Their children continued the family tradition of community leadership.

    We have been looking out for you some time now but I don’t think you are much...

  19. WILLIAM COOPER (c. 1861–1941)
    (pp. 28-29)

    Born in Yorta Yorta country in Victoria, William Cooper spent his early life working in the pastoral industry. He was married four times and had several children, including a daughter who was matron of the first Aboriginal Hostel in Melbourne, a son who fought and died in the First World War, and another who was a gifted sprinter. As a member of the Australian Workers’ Union in the late 1920s, Cooper became a spokesperson for the Aboriginal peoples of central Victoria and western NSW. In 1933, he moved to Melbourne where he became secretary of the Australian Aborigines League and...

  20. ANNA MORGAN (1874–1935)
    (pp. 29-30)

    Anna Morgan spent her early childhood in north-west Victoria and worked in domestic service from the age of eleven. In her twenties she moved near Cummeragunja Aboriginal Reserve, NSW, where she met and married Caleb Morgan in 1899. They had three children. Early in her marriage Morgan needed assistance but was rejected by the Board for the Protection of Aborigines. Later her application for a Commonwealth pension was also rejected. Morgan was a member of the Australian Aborigines League, and promoted Aboriginal women’s education when part of the 1935 delegation to the Minister of the Interior.

    What flag flies over...

  21. WILLIAM FERGUSON (1882–1950) and JOHN PATTEN (1905–1957)
    (pp. 30-37)

    Trade unionist and Aboriginal activist William Ferguson was born in Darlington Point in the Riverina, NSW, and worked as a shearer from 1896, becoming shed organiser for the Australian Workers’ Union. In 1916 he settled with his family in Gulargambone, where he reformed the local branch of the Australian Labor Party and was its secretary for two years. He moved to Dubbo in 1933, where he launched the Aborigines Progressive Association (APA) on 27 June 1938.

    John Thomas Patten was born in Moama, NSW. Educated in both mission and public schools, he worked as a labourer and boxer. Patten became...

  22. PEARL GIBBS (1901–1983)
    (pp. 37-39)

    Pearl Gibbs (Gambanyi) was born near Sydney and grew up near Yass, NSW. She became politically active, supporting Aboriginal workers affected by the Depression and gathering information against the NSW Aborigines Protection Board. Gibbs joined the Aborigines Progressive Association (APA) and assisted in organising the 1938 Day of Mourning, becoming APA secretary until 1940. With William Ferguson (qv) she established the Dubbo branch of the Australian Aborigines League. During the 1950s, she co-founded the Australian Aboriginal Fellowship with Faith Bandler and was the only Aboriginal member of the NSW Aborigines Welfare Board. In later life Gibbs enjoyed great prominence as...

  23. OODGEROO NOONUCCAL (1920–1993)
    (pp. 40-48)

    Describing herself as an educator and storyteller, Oodgeroo (meaning ‘paperbark tree’) of the Noonuccal tribe of Minjerriba (North Stradbroke Island, Queensland) was an Aboriginal poet, environmentalist and leader in the struggle for Aboriginal rights.

    She was educated at Dunwich State School, became a domestic servant at thirteen and joined the army during the Second World War. In 1942 she married her childhood friend Bruce Walker. She had two sons. In 1988, Kath Walker readopted her tribal name as a protest against Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations and a symbol of her Aboriginal pride.

    Oodgeroo was politically active from the late 1940s and...

  24. DOUG NICHOLLS (1906–1988)
    (pp. 48-49)

    Pastor Doug Nicholls of the Yorta Yorta people was born on Cummeragunja Mission in NSW, and was schooled according to strict religious principles. At the age of eight he saw the police forcibly remove his sixteen-year-old sister Hilda from the family to take her to the Cootamundra Training Home for Girls.

    Nicholls worked as a tar boy and a general sheep hand before becoming a professional footballer. He was recruited by the Carlton Football Club but because of the players’ racist attitudes did not compete with the team. In 1932 he joined Fitzroy Football Club where, in 1935, he became...

    (pp. 49-51)

    Situated in Arnhem Land on the north-eastern tip of the NT, Yirrkala is a small community of predominantly Yolngu people. In 1963, Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced that 390 square kilometres of Yirrkala land would be leased to a bauxite mining company. The Yirrkala people protested the lease by presenting a petition to the Commonwealth Parliament signed by seventeen elders. Typed on paper in both Yolngu and English, the petition was glued to a sheet of stringy-bark bordered by paintings expressing Yirrkala law. The petition protested the government’s secrecy and failure to consult, and requested an inquiry into the lease....

  26. NARRITJIN MAYMURU (c. 1916–1981)
    (pp. 51-52)

    A prominent member of the Maymuru family, Manggali clan—bark painters, printmakers and sculptors of north-eastern Arnhem Land, NT—Narritjin (Narrijin) was active in developing relationships between the Yolngu and outsiders. He worked for a pearler and for the missionary Wilbur Chaseling and produced paintings for the anthropologist Ronald Berndt. In the 1950s he lived in Darwin. Narritjin helped to paint the Yirrkala Bark Petition presented to the House of Representatives in 1963. After mining was established at Nhulunbuy in 1971, he worked with film-maker Ian Dunlop to document Yolngu life. In 1978, with his son Banapana, Narritjin was offered...

  27. VINCENT LINGIARI (1919–1988)
    (pp. 52-54)

    Vincent Lingiari was the ‘Kadijeri man’ (leader) of the Gurindji people, Kalkaringi, NT. In 1966 he led the Wave Hill walk-off, protesting against poor conditions and pay for Aboriginal workers on the cattle station, owned since 1914 by the British pastoral company Vesteys. Lingiari’s thumbprint was the first signature on the petition to the station owner, and he successfully expanded the protest to include a claim for traditional land rights. After years of struggle, the Gurindji were handed inalienable title to their land in 1975 by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who, in an iconic gesture, poured sand from his hand...

  28. JOE TIMBERY (1912–1978)
    (pp. 54-55)

    Poet, storyteller and world champion boomerang thrower, Joe Timbery spent much of his life at La Perouse near Sydney. His ancestors included Timbere, King of the Five Islands, and his Dharawal grandmother, Emma, a gifted traditional shellmaker. Timbery was highly regarded for his boomerangs, which were decorated with carved images of animals and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He demonstrated his boomerang throwing beneath the Eiffel Tower, and in 1954 presented Queen Elizabeth II with one of his boomerangs during her visit to Australia.

    Boomerangs are now being manufactured by the thousand by people with very little (or no) experience of...

  29. CHARLES PERKINS (1936–2000)
    (pp. 55-57)

    Charles Nelson (Charlie) Perkins was born at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Aboriginal Reserve, NT. His parents were Arrente and Kalkadoon people. At the age of ten he was removed from the reserve and sent to a home for boys in Adelaide, where he completed his schooling. He qualified as a fitter and turner in 1952. A talented soccer player, Perkins played as a professional with English club Everton, and on his return to Australia with Adelaide Croatian and Sydney Pan-Hellenic.

    While studying at the University of Sydney, Perkins became active in the Indigenous rights struggle and co-founded the group...

  30. JACK DAVIS (1917–2000)
    (pp. 57-64)

    The grandfather of Aboriginal theatre, Jack Leonard Davis grew up at Yarloop, WA. His many plays and poems were inspired by the experiences of his family and the Noongar people—his mother was forcibly removed from her parents, and on the death of his father Davis was sent to Moore River Native Settlement to learn farming at the age of fourteen. He left after nine months, having experienced the appalling conditions in Aboriginal reserves that would be the focus of much of his work.

    The young Davis worked as a stockman, boxer, horse breeder, train driver and truck driver. While...

  31. JOHN A. NEWFONG (1943–1999)
    (pp. 65-66)

    John Archibald Newfong was born in Brisbane and spent his early years on Stradbroke Island, his mother’s traditional country. The first Aboriginal journalist to be employed in the Australian print media, he trained at theSydney Morning Heraldand enjoyed a long career writing for Australian newspapers. Newfong was also a highly respected Aboriginal political leader. In 1961 he joined the Queensland Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and by 1970 had been elected general secretary of FCAATSI. An organiser and ‘ambassador’ for the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy and an executive founding member of the National...

  32. GERRY BOSTOCK (b. 1942)
    (pp. 66-72)

    Playwright, poet and film-maker Gerry Bostock was born in Grafton, NSW, of Bundjalung descent. A founder of the Aboriginal Black Theatre in the 1970s, he co-directed the documentary filmLousy Little Sixpence(1981), which examined the employment conditions of children forcibly removed by the Aborigines Protection Board.Here Comes the Niggerwas first produced by the Black Theatre in 1976.

    SAMandVERNAcan be heard coming up the stairs laughing and joking. The door opens. VERNAenters carrying the groceries. She crosses the room and puts the bag on the table and looks around the room. SAMenters, closes...

  33. MONICA CLARE (1924–1973)
    (pp. 72-76)

    Born near Goondiwindi, Queensland, Monica was the daughter of an Aboriginal shearer and an English woman. Following the death of her mother in 1931, Monica and her brother Dan lived in various homes in Sydney before being fostered to the Woodbury family on a farm near Spencer, NSW. Although treated with affection by the Woodburys, the children were removed to a home by government officials in 1935 and separated. Monica worked in domestic service for numerous families before beginning work at a cigarette factory. Following this she became a waitress and studied at night school to become a secretary.


  34. KEVIN GILBERT (1933–1993)
    (pp. 76-87)

    Born in Wiradjuri country at Condoblin, NSW, Gilbert was a leading poet, playwright, essayist, editor and political activist. Raised by relatives and in welfare homes after he was orphaned at seven, he worked as a seasonal agricultural worker and station manager. In 1957 he was sentenced to life imprisonment when his wife was killed in a domestic dispute.

    Gilbert learned to read while in prison and became interested in art and literature. He discovered a gift for lino printmaking and is considered to be the first Aboriginal printmaker. In 1968, while still in prison, he wrote the first play by...

  35. LIONEL FOGARTY (b. 1958)
    (pp. 87-100)

    Lionel George Fogarty is a respected poet and political activist, born on Wakka Wakka land at Barambah Mission, now known as Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve, Queensland. He is of the Yoogum and Kudjela tribes and also has relations from the Goomba tribe. Educated to ninth grade at Murgon High School, he took various casual jobs, went ringbarking, worked on a railway gang and at sixteen moved to Brisbane.

    In the early 1970s, Fogarty became increasingly aware of the injustices he had experienced on the reserve. Inspired by the growing Black Power movement, he combined writing poetry with a commitment to Aboriginal...

  36. BRUCE PASCOE (b. 1947)
    (pp. 100-105)

    Bruce Pascoe, a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of southern Victoria, has combined writing fiction and non-fiction with a career as a successful publisher. He has also worked as a farmer, fisherman, barman, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher and as a labourer on archaeological sites.

    From 1982 to 1998 Pascoe edited and publishedAustralian Short Stories, an influential quarterly journal of short fiction by new and established writers. He has edited educational texts on Wathaurong history and language, and is a highly regarded speaker on Aboriginal culture and social justice. Pascoe has continued to edit and publish anthologies and translations...

  37. IDA WEST (1919–2003)
    (pp. 106-109)

    Ida West was born on an Aboriginal reserve on Cape Barren Island. In the 1920s the family moved to Killiecrankie, Flinders Island. She married Marcus Sydney West, had one daughter and two sons, and divorced in 1960.

    West spent much of her life as a tireless advocate for the Tasmanian Aboriginal community’s rights to land and cultural self-determination. In 1987 West published her autobiographyPride Against Prejudice: Reminiscences of a Tasmanian Aborigine. Her many years of struggle finally resulted in the Wybalenna Aboriginal Community’s acquisition of land title on Flinders Island on 18 April 1999. She was named Tasmanian of...

  38. ERIC WILLMOT (b. 1936)
    (pp. 109-112)

    Scholar, award-winning engineer, administrator and author, Willmot was born on Cribb Island, near Brisbane. In boyhood he moved from school to school in Queensland and NT. After primary school he became a drover and horse breaker, completing his education after a rodeo accident at eighteen left him unable to ride. He graduated from the University of Newcastle in 1968 with a science degree, then taught mathematics before gaining a master’s degree in educational planning.

    Willmot has worked throughout the world as an educator and administrator. He has been Director-General of Education in South Australia, and head of AIATSIS. His advocacy...

  39. GLENYSE WARD (b. 1949)
    (pp. 112-114)

    Born in Perth, at the age of one Glenyse Ward was removed from her parents by the Native Welfare Department and placed in the St John of God’s orphanage, Rivervale, WA. She was later sent to St Francis Xavier Native Mission in Wandering Brook.

    When her mission education ceased she was put to domestic work, first at the mission and in 1964 as a servant to a wealthy white family. A year later she left for Busselton, where she was employed as a domestic in the Busselton Hospital kitchen. In 1987 she began publishing autobiographical fiction, winning the Federation of...

  40. SALLY MORGAN (b. 1951)
    (pp. 114-120)

    Sally Morgan’sMy Place(1987) is one of the most successful Australian autobiographies ever published. Morgan grew up in Perth and, after her father’s death, she and her four siblings were raised by her mother and grandmother. Having been told that she had an Indian background, she discovered at the age of fifteen that she was of Aboriginal descent, from the Palku (or Bailgu) people of the Pilbara. This discovery culminated in the writing ofMy Place, which incorporates the life stories of her mother, grandmother, and her grandmother’s brother.My Placewas an immediate bestseller (it has sold more...

  41. PAT TORRES (b. 1956)
    (pp. 120-121)

    Born in Broome, WA, Pat Torres is a writer, artist, illustrator, community worker, health worker, educator and Aboriginal administrator. Since 1987 she has published autobiographical works, stories for children, poetry and critical writing, and is involved in recording Aboriginal oral history in the Kimberley.

    Gurrwayi Gurrwayi

    It’s the Rain bird call,

    Don’t hurt him or kill him,

    Or the rain will always fall.

    Gurrwayi Gurrwayi

    Gawinaman jina gambini bandalmada.

    Malu minabilga gamba bandalmada.

    Galiya yiljalgun wula widu jayida.

    Wangkaja, the mangrove crab,

    His meat is so good to eat.

    Hiding under the muddy sand,

    Look out it’s under your feet....

  42. RUBY LANGFORD GINIBI (b. 1934)
    (pp. 121-124)

    Born at Box Ridge Mission, Coraki, NSW, Dr Ruby Langford Ginibi is an elder of the Bundjalung Nation. She grew up in Bonalbo and attended high school in Casino. At fifteen she moved to Sydney where she qualified as a clothing machinist. For many years she lived and camped in the bush around Coonabarabran, fencing, lopping and ringbarking trees, pegging kangaroo skins and working in clothing factories.

    Following her first book,Don’t Take Your Love to Town, published in 1988, she has produced many award-winning works of autobiography, and published poetry and critical pieces on Aboriginal writing and politics. Her...

  43. BURNUM BURNUM (1936–1997)
    (pp. 124-125)

    Born at Wallaga Lake, NSW, Burnum Burnum was an activist, rugby player, actor, author, dreamer and respected Aboriginal elder. Removed from his parents at the age of three months and named Harry Penrith, he spent his early years in children’s homes, where he was raised to believe he was white. In the 1960s, he searched for his Aboriginal identity, joined the struggle for Aboriginal rights, and took the name of his great-grandfather, meaning ‘Great Warrior’. He attended the University of Tasmania and became an active member of the Aboriginal community, helping to organise the 1972 Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra....

  44. ERROL WEST (1947–2001)
    (pp. 125-126)

    Born in Tasmania of the Pairrebeene clan, Errol West (Japanangka) is best known for his strong advocacy in national and international forums of Aboriginal education. West worked closely with Aboriginal communities and chaired numerous committees that funded Aboriginal education, teacher employment and policy development. He also made a significant contribution to Aboriginal scholarship through his work at various universities.

    Sitting, wondering, do I have a place here?

    The breast of Mother Earth bore me, yet long I host a shell of emptiness, a human husk winnowed in the draught of history, my essence ground on the mill of white determination....

    (pp. 126-127)

    A member of the Gumatj clan of the Yolngu people, Galarrwuy Yunupingu was born at Melville Bay near Yirrkala, NT. He first attended the mission school at Yirrkala and for two years studied at the Methodist Bible College, Brisbane. In the early 1960s he joined his father Mungurrawuy, a Gumatj clan leader, in the struggle for Aboriginal land rights and the Yirrkala protest against bauxite mining, helping to create the Yirrkala Bark Petition in 1963 and bringing Aboriginal land rights to national attention. In 1975 he joined the Northern Land Council of which he was chairman from 1977 to 2004...

  46. BILL NEIDJIE (c. 1913–2002)
    (pp. 127-129)

    Bill Neidjie was born at Alawanydajawany on the East Alligator River in Arnhem Land, NT. Prior to the Second World War, Neidjie had a variety of jobs for which he was paid in tea, sugar, meat, flour and tobacco. After the 1942 bombing of Darwin, he assisted affected Aboriginal people. Around this time he was initiated in a Ubarr ceremony at Paw Paw Beach. For nearly 30 years Neidjie worked on a lugger along the north coast of WA. In 1979 he returned home to his Bunitj clan land, becoming a claimant in the Alligator Rivers Stage II land claim....

  47. BOB RANDALL (b. 1934)
    (pp. 130-131)

    Bob Randall is a singer, songwriter, teacher and activist. He is from the Yankunytjatjara people and is a traditional owner of the Uluru lands, NT. His mother, Tanguawa, worked as a housemaid at Angus Downs cattle station for Randall’s father, station owner Bill Liddle. Randall and his mother lived away from the main house with their extended family and he had little contact with his Scottish father. Randall was taken from his mother at the age of seven. He spent time in an Alice Springs institution for children, Croker Island Reservation, and in Sydney.

    Randall married, completed a welfare residential...

  48. SAM WATSON (b. 1952)
    (pp. 131-133)

    Sam Watson is a poet, activist, lecturer, playwright and storyteller of the Birri-Gubba (from his grandfather) and Munaldjali (from his grandmother) nations and lives in Brisbane. His political activism began as a student in the 1960s over the White Australia policy. He went on to play support roles in the 1967 referendum campaign, the Gurindji land rights struggle and other campaigns for Indigenous equality and justice. He studied law and arts at the University of Queensland in the early 1970s. Watson pioneered programs in law, medicine and housing, focusing on Indigenous communities, and was a co-founder of the Brisbane chapter...

  49. GRAEME DIXON (b. 1955)
    (pp. 133-134)

    Graeme Dixon, whose mother is Noongar from Katanning and whose father is an English migrant orphan, grew up at the now infamous Fairbridge Farm School in NSW. At the age of sixteen, Dixon was sent to Fremantle Prison where he spent most of the next nine years, and it was there that he began writing. His poetry collectionHolocaust Island(1990) was the inaugural winner of the David Unaipon Award in 1989. He is also the author ofHolocaust Revisited: Killing time(2003).

    If we never succeed in reclaiming our country

    doomed to live life paying rent to the gentry...

  50. ARCHIE ROACH (b. 1955)
    (pp. 134-136)

    The award-winning singer-songwriter Archie Roach was born at Mooroopna, north-central Victoria. In 1956 he and his family were moved to Framlingham Mission (near Warrnambool), after which Roach was removed from his family, placed in an orphanage and eventually fostered to a family that nurtured his interest in music. As a young man, Roach left his foster family and spent many years living on the streets as an alcoholic, attempting to find his family. Roach met up with Ruby Hunter, his lifelong partner, and together they have made a home for their children, continuing to make music. Based in Melbourne, their...

  51. JIMMY CHI (b. 1948)
    (pp. 136-137)

    Jimmy Chi was born in Broome, WA, of a Chinese-Japanese-Anglo father and a Scottish-Bardi Aboriginal mother. After a serious car accident when he was 21, Chi began writing contemporary music, forming the band Kuckles and collaborating with the Pigram Brothers.

    Chi’s musicalsBran Nue Dae(1990/1991) andCorrugation Road(1996/unpublished) have won numerous awards and are recognised as significant contributions to the development of contemporary Aboriginal theatre. Their success was also instrumental in the formation of the Black Swan Theatre in Nedlands, WA, as well as launching the careers of many Aboriginal actors. He received the 1991 Human Rights Award...

  52. MANDAWUY YUNUPINGU (b. 1956)
    (pp. 137-139)

    A Yolngu man of the Gumatj clan, Yunupingu was born at Yirrkala in Arnhem Land, NT. His father was a signatory to the 1963 Yirrkala Bark Petition, and he was raised in a politically active environment. He gained his teaching certificate in 1977, started teaching at the Yirrkala Community School, and was the first Yolngu person to earn a university degree, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Education) from Deakin University in 1988. He was assistant principal of the Yirrkala Community School from 1989 and its principal from 1990; he became a leader in the ‘both-ways’ curriculum, teaching both Yolngu...

  53. JIMMY PIKE (c. 1940–2002)
    (pp. 139-140)

    Walmajarri man Jimmy Pike was born and grew up in the Great Sandy Desert, WA. A former stockman on Kimberley cattle stations, Pike was imprisoned for murder in 1981. While in prison he took up painting and met the writer Pat Lowe. Born in England in 1941, Lowe migrated to Australia in 1972. In the late 1970s she worked as a clinical psychologist at Fremantle Prison. She moved to Broome in 1979. After Pike’s release from prison in 1988, Pike and Lowe went to live at Kurlku, near Fitzroy Crossing. In the early 1990s they returned to Broome and Pike’s...

  54. PHILIP McLAREN (b. 1943)
    (pp. 140-144)

    Philip McLaren’s family comes from the Warrumbungle Mountains area, NSW, and he is a descendant of the Kamilaroi people. He has worked as a television producer, director, designer, illustrator, architect, sculptor, lifeguard and copywriter. He has been a creative director in television, advertising and film production companies, both in Australia and overseas. After this varied career, McLaren focused on writing and was one of the first Aboriginal authors to publish in the crime-writing genre. His books includeSweet WaterStolen Land(1993),Scream Black Murder(1995),Lightning Mine(1999) andThere’ll Be New Dreams(2001).

    The raw, tumultuous outback...

  55. KEV CARMODY (b. 1946)
    (pp. 144-146)

    Kev Carmody grew up on a cattle station in the Darling Downs area of south-eastern Queensland. When he was ten, he was taken from his parents and sent to a Christian school, which he has described as ‘little more than an orphanage’. A travelling singer-songwriter based in southern Queensland, Carmody regularly tours Australian jails, where he plays to the Aboriginal inmates. His music employs a ranges of styles, including country, folk and rock’n’roll. He collaborated with singer-songwriter Paul Kelly (b. 1955) on the musicalOne Night the Moon(2001). Their 1992 song ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’, about the...

  56. PATRICK DODSON (b. 1948)
    (pp. 146-147)

    Born in Broome, WA, Patrick Dodson is of Yawuru descent. He and his younger brother Mick (qv) were made wards of the state in 1960 after the death of their father. They were sent to Monivae College in Hamilton, Victoria, on scholarships to finish their education. Patrick became a seminarian and was ordained in 1975 as the first Indigenous Catholic priest. In this challenging role he sought to balance and blend Catholicism and Aboriginal spiritual belief. After many years of confrontation with the ecclesiastical hierarchy he left the priesthood in 1981.

    Since then he has been an Aboriginal rights activist,...

  57. MARCIA LANGTON (b. 1951)
    (pp. 147-150)

    A leading Aboriginal scholar and a descendant of the Yiman people, Marcia Langton grew up in Queensland and spent many years working as an activist with local and overseas social justice organisations. During the 1980s she trained in anthropology at the Australian National University, and from the 1990s she has researched and taught in a range of disciplines, including gender and identity studies, Aboriginal land rights, resource management and Aboriginal creative expression. Langton’s films include:Jardiwampa: A Warlpiri fireandBlood Brothers. She was professor of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies at Charles Darwin University before being appointed Foundation...

  58. RITA HUGGINS (1921–1996) and JACKIE HUGGINS (b. 1956)
    (pp. 150-155)

    Rita Huggins (née Holt) was born at Carnarvon Gorge, Queensland. The Holt family was forcibly removed from their traditional Bidjaraher country in the late 1920s, and were taken to what was then known as Barambah Mission (known today as the Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve). From that time Rita worked for herself, her family and her people, and was an active member of the One People of Australia League. Thousands attended her funeral, a testimony to her standing in the Aboriginal community and beyond.

    Her daughter Jackie Huggins, born in Ayr, Queensland, is an author, historian and activist dedicated to reconciliation, social...

  59. JESSIE LENNON (c. 1925–2000)
    (pp. 155-156)

    A Maṯutjara woman born in the station country of outback SA, Jessie Lennon is daughter of Nylatu and Kutin (Rosie Austin), and younger sister of Molly. Through her mother she has links with Tjalyiri or Tallaringa, north-west of Coober Pedy. She attended the mission school at Ooldea. When she met Joe Lennon at Coober Pedy, their families would not allow them to live together because they were too young. Later, Joe found her again and they were married. Lennon had six children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.And I Always Been Moving! The early life of Jessie Lennonwas published...

  60. ROMAINE MORETON (b. 1969)
    (pp. 156-166)

    A writer, film-maker and performance poet, Romaine Moreton is from the Goenpul people of Stradbroke Island, Queensland, and the Bundjalung people of northern NSW. Her family worked as seasonal farming labourers, later settling in the country town of Bodalla, NSW. In August 2002 Moreton toured Australia with African-American acapella band, Sweet Honey in the Rock, performing her signature spoken words before a sell-out crowd at the Sydney Opera House. Moreton’s work responds to the environment and explores issues of identity. Two of her short films were shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999 and she appeared in an ABC...

  61. HERB WHARTON (b. 1936)
    (pp. 166-168)

    Born in Yumba, an Aboriginal camp in the south-western Queensland town of Cunnamulla, Wharton worked as a stockman, drover and labourer before taking up writing around the age of 50. His first novel,Unbranded(1992), is based on his experiences as a stockman in the Australian outback. Since then he has published several collections of prose and poetry, and a young adult novel. He is popular around the world for his storytelling. His works includeYumba Days(1991),Where Ya’ Been, Mate?(1996),Imba (Listen): Tell you a story(2003) andKings with Empty Pockets(2003).

    From high up on...

  62. DORIS PILKINGTON (b. 1937)
    (pp. 168-173)

    Doris Pilkington was born on Balfour Downs Station in the East Pilbara, WA. At a young age she and her sister were removed by authorities from their home and were sent with their mother to Moore River Native Settlement. At eighteen, Pilkington left the mission system as the first of its members to qualify as a nursing aide at the Royal Perth Hospital. After marrying and raising a family, she studied journalism and worked in film and television production.

    Her novelCaprice: A stockman’s daughter(1991) won the David Unaipon Award in 1990. As well as adult fiction, she has...

  63. ALF TAYLOR (b. 1947)
    (pp. 173-179)

    Alf Taylor is a poet and short story writer born in Perth. He spent his early years with his family then was taken with his brother, as part of the stolen generation, to the New Norcia Mission. As a young man he worked around Perth and Geraldton as a seasonal farm worker, then joined the armed forces. He and his wife had seven children, only two of whom survived. Taylor is the author of three collections of poetry, and a collection of short stories calledLong Time Now: Stories of the Dreamtime, the here and now(2001).

    When the warm...

  64. LISA BELLEAR (1961–2006)
    (pp. 179-183)

    Lisa Bellear was a Goenpul woman of the Noonuccal people of Minjerriba (Stradbroke Island), Queensland. A notably political poet, she was also a visual artist, academic and social commentator, being involved in Aboriginal affairs nationally. She was an executive member of the Black Women’s Action in Education Foundation and a volunteer broadcaster on 3CR community radio for eleven years on the ‘Not Another Koori Show’.

    Her collection of poetryDreaming in Urban Areaswas published in 1996. Bellear also conceived and co-wrote the promenade-style theatrical work,The Dirty Mile: A history of Indigenous Fitzroy(2006). She performed her work nationally...

  65. MICK DODSON (b. 1950)
    (pp. 183-185)

    Mick Dodson was born in Katherine, NT, and is the brother of Patrick Dodson (qv). He is a member of the Yawuru peoples of the southern Kimberley region, WA. A lawyer, academic and advocate, Dodson worked with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (1976–81) and became a barrister in 1981. He joined the Northern Land Council as senior legal adviser in 1984 and became director of the Council in 1990. He is a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and was a founding director of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, as well as a member and...

  66. ALEXIS WRIGHT (b. 1950)
    (pp. 185-191)

    Alexis Wright is from the Waanyi people from the highlands of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria. She has worked in government departments and Aboriginal agencies across four states and territories as a manager, educator, researcher and writer. Wright coordinated the NT Aboriginal Constitutional Convention in 1993 and wrote ‘Aboriginal Self-Government’ forLand Rights News, later quoted in full in Henry Reynolds’Aboriginal Sovereignty(1996). Her involvement in Aboriginal organisations and campaigns has included work on mining, publications, fund raising and land rights both in Australia and overseas. As well as writing essays and short stories, Wright is the author of...

  67. MELISSA LUCASHENKO (b. 1967)
    (pp. 191-193)

    Melissa Lucashenko is of European and Indigenous Yugambeh/Bundjalung heritage. Born and educated in Brisbane, Lucashenko studied at Griffith University, graduating with an honours degree in public policy. She worked for a short time in Canberra for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet before moving to Darwin and then returning to Brisbane. At Griffith University she began PhD studies on the experiences of Aboriginal women at work. She left her studies to take up full-time writing, and has since written two adult novels,Steam Pigs(1997) andHard Yards(1999), two young adult novels,Killing Darcy(1998) andToo...

  68. JOHN MUK MUK BURKE (b. 1946)
    (pp. 193-194)

    Born in Narrandera, NSW, of a Wiradjuri mother and an Irish father, John Muk Muk Burke spent many years teaching music and art in schools in New Zealand, Darwin and outback NT. He has lectured at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Northern Territory (now Charles Darwin) University and worked with Aboriginal inmates at the Goulburn Correctional Centre. His novel,Bridge of Triangles, won the David Unaipon Award in 1993. He is also the author ofNight Song and Other Poems(1999).

    Flatwalk field of Suffolk—

    Your insular chalk walls are crumbling.

    The last of summer’s apples

    Are tumbling from...

    (pp. 194-196)

    A writer, artist and academic born in Adelaide of Arrernte, Chinese and Anglo-Celtic descent, Jennifer Martiniello has lectured in education at the Canberra Institute of Technology and the University of Canberra and worked with Indigenous communities in regional NSW and Victoria. In 2005 she was the public officer of the Indigenous Writers Support Group in Canberra and a member of the Publishing Advisory Committee of Aboriginal Studies Press at AIATSIS. She has edited a number of anthologies, includingBlack Lives, Rainbow Visions: Indigenous sitings in the creative arts(1999),Writing Us Mob: New Indigenous voices(2000) andTalking Ink from...

  70. KENNY LAUGHTON (b. 1950)
    (pp. 196-198)

    Kenny Laughton was born in Alice Springs and is of Arrernte descent. He is a Vietnam veteran who served two tours of duty as a combat engineer between 1969 and 1971. On his return to Australia and subsequent discharge from the armed services, Laughton went home to Alice Springs where he spent the next twenty years working for the Commonwealth, the NT Public Service and also in the private sector. He is the editor ofThe Aboriginal Ex-Servicemen of Central Australia(1995), and the author ofNot Quite Men, No Longer Boys(1999), an account of his military experiences in...

  71. KIM SCOTT (b. 1957)
    (pp. 198-203)

    Kim Scott has written novels, a biography and a children’s picture book, as well as poetry, stories and criticism. He was born in Perth, and is a descendant of the Noongar people. Scott graduated from Murdoch University. After teaching English for some time in urban, rural and remote secondary schools, including at an Aboriginal community in the north of WA, Scott began researching his family history. This led to his first novel,True Country(1993), which, along withBenang: From the heart(1999), explores the problem of self-identity faced by light-skinned Aboriginal people and examines assimilationist policies during the first...

  72. BARBARA NICHOLSON (b. 1935)
    (pp. 204-205)

    A senior Wadi Wadi woman from the Illawarra district, NSW, Barbara Nicholson was born on the reserve at Port Kembla. As a mature-age student she graduated from the University of Newcastle. Outspoken on issues of land rights, assimilation and criminal justice, Nicholson has been active in many Aboriginal organisations. Her poetry has appeared inThe Strength of Us as Women: Black women speak(2000).

    ‘You don’t take that land,’ they cried, they yelled, they wailed

    at the men in the military suits and feathered hats.

    ‘Go away and get off my land, get off my land,my land.’

    But they...

  73. RICHARD FRANKLAND (b. 1963)
    (pp. 205-206)

    Richard Frankland is a singer-songwriter, playwright and film-maker of Gunditjmara/Kilkurt Gilga descent. He has written poetry, young adult fiction and musical theatre. Born on the coast of south-west Victoria, Frankland worked as a field officer during the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, which led to his appearance as a presenter in the award-winning Australian documentaryWho Killed Malcolm Smith?(1992), which he also co-authored. His other film credits include writer/director forHarry’s War(1999). Some of his songs have been recorded by Archie Roach (qv). His novelDigger J. Joneswas published in 2007.

    I’m a two world...

  74. KERRY REED-GILBERT (b. 1956)
    (pp. 206-207)

    The daughter of Kevin Gilbert (qv), poet Kerry Reed-Gilbert is a Wiradjuri woman from central NSW. She has worked as a consultant on Indigenous culture, history and heritage, and as a human rights activist. Her photography has appeared in numerous exhibitions across Australia. She has edited a number of anthologies of Indigenous writing, includingThe Strength of Us As Women: Black women speak(2000). Her books includeBlack Woman, Black Life(1996) andTalkin’ About Country(2002).

    Let’s get physical

    The man cried, five in the morning.

    They lined up side by side. Row by row.

    Let’s get physical


  75. VIVIENNE CLEVEN (b. 1968)
    (pp. 207-211)

    Vivienne Cleven was born in Surat, Queensland, and grew up in western Queensland, homeland of her Aboriginal heritage, the Kamilaroi nation. She left school at thirteen to work with her father as a jillaroo, working on stations throughout Queensland and NSW. Cleven won the David Unaipon Award in 2000 for her novelBitin’ Back(2001). Her second novel,Her Sister’s Eyewas published in 2002. In 2005 she adaptedBitin’ Backfor the stage.

    I head down to Booty’s backyard shed.

    The pig dogs sprawl at the door, scarred heads restintween big paws. I squint me peepers at the biggest...

  76. NOEL PEARSON (b. 1965)
    (pp. 211-212)

    An Aboriginal activist and community leader, Noel Pearson is a member of the Bama Bagaarrmugu from the Kalpowa and Jeanie River area in the south-eastern Cape York region. He was born in Cooktown and grew up at Hope Vale, a Lutheran mission on the Cape York Peninsula, and graduated with an arts/law degree from the University of Sydney. In 1990 Pearson co-founded the Cape York Land Council, and was Executive Director until 1996. He was also a legal adviser for ATSIC. He continues to advise a number of Indigenous organisations in Cape York, and is an advocate for self-determination and...

  77. WESLEY ENOCH (b. 1969)
    (pp. 213-216)

    Born on Stradbroke Island, Queensland, Wesley Enoch is a playwright and director. He has been the artistic director of Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts, an associate artist with the Queensland Theatre Company, and a resident director with the Sydney Theatre Company. Enoch is the author of the playsBlack Medea(2005/2007) andThe Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table(2006/2007). With Deborah Mailman and Hilary Beaton, he co-authoredThe 7 Stages of Grieving(1995/1996).

    MEDEA: Look at me … I had everything … and now I’ve got nothing. He’s left me; he didn’t even have the guts to say...

  78. SAMUEL WAGAN WATSON (b. 1972)
    (pp. 216-220)

    Samuel Wagan Watson has Irish, German and Aboriginal (Bundjalung and Birri Gubba) ancestry. He is the son of Sam Watson (qv). Wagan Watson has won state and national awards for his poetry and prose, and prior to being a full-time writer was a salesman, public relations officer, fraud investigator, graphic artist, labourer, law clerk, film industry technician and actor.

    In between writing and working on community projects, including poetry in the built environment (his poetry adorns the Eleanor Schonell Bridge in St Lucia, Queensland), Wagan Watson acts as a guest speaker, workshop facilitator and mentor in the creative arts.Of...

  79. DENNIS McDERMOTT (b. 1946)
    (pp. 220-222)

    Dennis McDermott grew up in Tamworth, NSW. He was born to a mother of Sydney’s Gadigal–Eora people and an Irish-Scottish father. A psychologist, poet and researcher in Indigenous health, he is the author of a collection of poems,Dorothy’s Skin(2003), as well as criticism and essays.

    At fourteen, my daughter knows whyThe Old Coupleon the beach, notThe Tiger

    leaps at her from her Christmas gift. She likes Dali. I don’t, except for one image

    that I flip pages for, until I realise they’ve left it out:Lifting the Skin of the Water

    to See the...

  80. LARISSA BEHRENDT (b. 1969)
    (pp. 222-225)

    Born in Cooma, NSW, of Kamilaroi and Eualeyai descent, Larissa Behrendt is an academic, lawyer and writer who graduated from Harvard Law School with a doctorate in 1998. Her thesis was later published asAchieving Social Justice: Indigenous rights and Australia’s future(2003). Since 2001 she has been professor of law and director of research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney, and has published extensively on property law, Indigenous rights, dispute resolution and Aboriginal women’s issues. Behrendt has held numerous positions on legal and creative arts bodies. Her novelHome(2004) won the...

  81. STEPHEN HAGAN (b. 1959)
    (pp. 225-227)

    Stephen Hagan is a descendant of the Kullilli people of south-west Queensland. His early years were spent living in a fringe camp on the outskirts of Cunnamulla but when he was seven the family moved to the town. While employed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, he was posted to Colombo and to Calcutta, where he worked with Mother Teresa. He now teaches at the University of Southern Queensland. As well as journalism, Hagan has writtenThe N Word: One man’s stand(2005), recounting his fight to have the word ‘Nigger’ removed from the name of the ‘Nigger Brown Stand’...

  82. JIM EVERETT (b. 1942)
    (pp. 228-230)

    Jim Everett is a member of the Plangermairreenner clan of the Ben Lomond people, of the Cape Portland nations in north-east Tasmania. He has been active in Aboriginal affairs, lectured in Aboriginal heritage and history, and produced radio and television. Everett is a poet, playwright and short story writer. He has co-edited a collection of Tasmanian Aboriginal poetry,The Spirit of Kuti Kina(1990), and short stories,Weeta Puna: The moon is risen(1992). He is the co-author, with Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian, ofThe Dreaming(1997), a work of Indigenous folklore.

    planegarrartoothenar grew up in meenamatta country. his clan is the...

  83. TONY BIRCH (b. 1957)
    (pp. 230-234)

    Melbourne-born academic and author Tony Birch has published poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. He has worked as a writer and curator in collaboration with photographers, film-makers and artists, and as a writer in the areas of Australian urban and social history and ‘contact’ histories. He also lectures in creative writing.Shadowboxing, a series of ten linked short stories, was published in 2006.

    Captain Cook marched—

    in jacket and brass button

    Buckley¹ stood ragged

    in possum skin at Muddy Creek

    Batman² came looking

    with glass, beads, powder

    and mirrors in a wooden boat

    around the sea

    Buckley spoke his old tongue—...

  84. TERRI JANKE (b. 1966)
    (pp. 234-236)

    Terri Janke was born in Cairns, Queensland, and is a descendant of the Wuthathi/Yadaighana and Meriam people. She is a solicitor, and her Sydney-based law firm, Terri Janke and Company Pty Ltd—which focuses on Indigenous arts and intellectual and cultural property—is the first Indigenous law firm to be owned by a woman in Australia. She is the author of the novelButterfly Song(2005), legal texts, poetry and short stories. She is also the co-author of a children’s picture book,What Makes a Tree Smile(2003).

    Give me high-arched eyebrows. Lips of red and a clean fresh face....

  85. JARED THOMAS (b. 1976)
    (pp. 236-240)

    Jared Thomas, a Nukunu man from the southern Flinders Ranges, SA, is a novelist, playwright, poet, teacher and academic. He has worked as the manager of the Indigenous Arts and Culture Division of Arts SA, and has coordinated Nukunu People’s Council cultural heritage, language and art projects. He is the author of two plays—Flash Red Ford(1999/unpublished) andLove, Land and Money(2002/unpublished)—and the young adult novel,Sweet Guy(2005).

    This one here’s a real good tree. This eucalypt with the red stem. You chew on it and it keep you good all winter, boy. You chew. Taste...

  86. TARA JUNE WINCH (b. 1983)
    (pp. 240-242)

    Tara June Winch is of Wiradjuri, Afghan and English heritage and lives in NSW.Swallow the Air(2006), a collection of short stories that can be read as a novel, won the 2004 David Unaipon Award.

    Johnny takes me away, together we run the white-sanded beaches, and we eat mangoes and pick coconuts and wade through swamps to pull up lily roots and eat them as sugar rhubarb. Even if we’re sitting there in Caroline Street or walking up Vine to the park, we’ve escaped with each other and the rest of it—the Block and the city rise up...

    (pp. 243-246)
    (pp. 247-249)
    (pp. 250-255)
  90. INDEX
    (pp. 256-267)
  91. Back Matter
    (pp. 268-268)