Tag: Australian history

“From the Spear to the Pen”: How Indigenous writing has enriched our literary landscape

by Marie Munkara From the noble savage to the dull witted primitive the representation of indigenous people in literature by the non-indigenous has provided interesting reading since the days of early settlement in this country. But one can only ponder how much of the colonial depictions were based on scientific theory as naturalist Charles Darwin’s belief that the Australian Aborigine was only one rung up the evolutionary ladder from the great apes must have shaped the attitudes of many in the new penal colony. His comment in 1835 that “All the aborigines have been removed to an island in Bass…

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The Reef is Not a Poem

by Nicolette Stasko When I began to think about a topic for my first post I realised that I had an opportunity to write about something I am passionate about but don’t usually get to address: conservation and the environment as represented by the natural phenomenon of the Great Barrier Reef. Readers who are familiar with my poetry or my book Oyster: from Montparnasse to Greenwell Point, would not find my interest surprising. For me, like many poets (including Judith Wright, whose work is also a main focus of this piece), the land and especially the sea is a ‘manifestation…

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by Stephen Sewell My father was nearly killed in a motorbike accident a month after I was born.  When he finally came to, he couldn’t recognise me or my mother and didn’t know who he was. My Aunt Mary tried to tell him, but he didn’t know who she was, either. That was the first blow my parents received. My mother returned to factory work and with the help of her family and my father’s, principally Mary, but also my other aunts, they scraped through. He eventually came home, only to suffer what the doctors called a nervous breakdown that…

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