Oodgeroo: A Pioneer in Aboriginal Education


"White people want to do something about Aborigines, but they don't know how to go about it," said Kath Walker (Oodgeroo) to reporter Jim Hall of the Sun Herald in June 1964. Hall was reporting on the phenomenal success of Kath's first book of poems, We Are Going, which had sold out two editions within a few days of reaching the bookshops. Hall described the Aboriginal author as "A poem scribbler from childhood who never took her poems seriously until she joined the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement of which she is Queensland Branch Secretary". This link between Kath's writings and her involvement in the Aboriginal rights movement has often been overlooked by students of her poetry. It is not possible, however, to overlook the very close relationship between Kath Walker's fight for Aboriginal rights and her work as an educator. Indeed, throughout the 1960s, the whole "raison d'etre" for her work in education was her passion for justice for Aborigines.

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Published 1 November 1994 in Oodgeroo: a tribute. Subjects: Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal-White conflict, Education, Government policies, Racism, Social injustice, Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

Cite as: Duncan, Alan. ‘Oodgeroo: A Pioneer in Aboriginal Education.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 16, no. 4, 1994, doi: 10.20314/als.281c94de0e.