Oodgeroo: Orator, Poet, Storyteller


The past and history have been foregrounded in Aboriginal consciousness as issues that demand attention whereas the history of white Australia has often been taken for granted. Because they are a minority group Aboriginal people's history was, until the 1960s, invisible within the white community. As Klaus Neumann has observed (284), poetry may function as history, and in this article I examine in Oodgeroo Noonuccal's writing the emergence into print of an Aboriginal history. As a child Oodgeroo Noonuccal lived a semi-traditional way of life and like many of her generation she witnessed the passing of that lifestyle. Her writing negotiates this loss and in the phases that her relationship with the past and history undergoes, we can chart various constructions of Aboriginality from the 1960s onwards.

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Published 1 November 1994 in Oodgeroo: a tribute. Subjects: Aboriginal culture, Aboriginal law, Aboriginal oral tradition, Aboriginal poetry, Aboriginal women writers, Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

Cite as: Brewster, Anne. ‘Oodgeroo: Orator, Poet, Storyteller.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 16, no. 4, 1994, doi: 10.20314/als.69adc84156.