“While my name is remembered, I teach”: Oodgeroo Noonuccal and cross-cultural storytelling for children
KeywordsAustralian Indigenous writing, autobiography, children’s literature, cross-cultural communication, translation
Focusing on Stradbroke Dreamtime (1972), the first prose book of an Australian Indigenous poet, activist and educationalist, Oodgeroo Noonuccal (also known as Kath Walker), I reflect on questions which arise around cross-cultural communication and translation. Prompted by the unfinished project aimed at translating Stradbroke Dreamtime into Polish, I deliberate on challenges to respond appropriately to Australian Indigenous writing, particularly if it is influenced by white editing and publishing practices which often privilege Eurocentric views. Situating Stradbroke Dreamtime in the broader context of Noonuccal’s life, political activism and pedagogical efforts, I read her work as an intergenerational, inclusive and transformative project, and an act of solidarity between generations and cultures. In the context of Indigenous Australia, the concept of solidarity is often associated with reconciliation. I explore this nexus, arguing that Stradbroke Dreamtime reflects Walker’s strategy for reconciliation which includes empowering children through storytelling.
Aborigines seeking black power. (1972). “Boca Raton News”, 16 January, p. 19
Aboriginal leader in court on gun charge. (1972). “The
Sydney Morning Herald”, 6 January, p. 2.
ALLEN, C. (2017). Dreaming in the Present Progressive: Kath Walker “Across, Beyond”, and “Through” an Indigenous 1964. “Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature”, 17.1. Obtained from https://openjournals.library.sydney.edu.au/index.php/JASAL/article/view/12046/11500.
ATTEBERY, B. (2014). Stories about Stories: Fantasy and the Remaking of Myth. Oxford University Press.
Australia Council for the Arts. Writing Cultures: Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Writing. ((2002) 2007). Strawberry Hills, New South Wales: Australia Council for the Arts.
Blacks ‘ready to use guns’. (1972). “The Age”, 1 March, p. 6.
BOOTH, A. (2016). Top 10: Children’s books that awake the imagination. “NITV”, 15 March.
BREWSTER, A. (1994). Oodgeroo: Orator, Poet, Storyteller. “Oodgeroo: a tribute - Australian Literary Studies Journal”, Volume 16 No. 4, 92-104.
COCHRANE, K. (1994). Oodgeroo. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press.
COLEMAN, P. (1962). Introduction: The New Australia. In: P. Coleman (ed.), Australian Civilization. Melbourne: Cheshire.
CRAVEN, R. (1994). Oodgeroo – an Educator Who Proved One Person Could Make a Difference. Oodgeroo: a tribute - Australian Literary Studies Journal Volume 16 No. 4, 121-130.
DEVANEY, J. F. (1956). We Are Going by Kath Walker. “Jacaranda Press”, 5-6.
DICKSON, B. (1981). The Legacy of a True National Treasure of Australia. Oodgeroo Noonuccal (1920-1993). An interview conducted in May 1981 by Bruce Dickson at the Brisbane Community Arts Centre. Obtained from http://www.dropbearito.com/dropbearito_006.htm.
DUNCAN, A. (1994). Oodgeroo: A Pioneer in Aboriginal Education. “Oodgeroo: a tribute - Australian Literary Studies Journal”, Volume 16 No. 4, 132-140.
FREEMAN, R. (2010). Black and White: in Search of an ‘Apt’ Response to Indigenous Writing. “Text”, 14(2) October.
GOODA, M. (2012). Solidarity is key to a reconciled Australia. “The Sydney Morning Herald”, 3 June. Obtained from https://www.smh.com.au/national/solidarity-is-key-to-a-reconciled-australia-20120602-1zohj.html.
Guidelines for the ethical publishing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and research from those communities. (2015). The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies: Aboriginal Studies Press. Obtained from https://aiatsis.gov.au/sites/default/files/docs/asp/ethical-publishing-guidelines.pdf.
HAAG, O. (2009). Indigenous Australian Literature in German. Some Considerations on Reception, Publication and Translation. “Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature”, Special Issue: Australian Literature in a Global World. Obtained from https://openjournals.library.sydney.edu.au/index.php/JASAL/article/view/10158.
Hatherell, W. (2012). ‘Back to Nature’: Oodgeroo’s Return to Stradbroke. “Fryer Folios”, July vol. 7 no. 1, 3-5.
HEISS, A. (2003). Dhuuluu-Yala: To talk straight – Publishing Indigenous literature. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.
HODGE, B. (1994). Poetry and Politics in Oodgeroo: Transcending the Difference. “Oodgeroo: a tribute – Australian Literary Studies Journal”, Volume 16 No. 4, 63-76.
HORNE, D. (1964). The Lucky Country. London: Penguin Books.
Jones, J. (2009). Black Writers White Editors: Episodes of Collaboration and Compromise in Australian Publishing History. North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.
JONES, J. (2004). Deemed Unsuitable for Children: The Editing of Oodgeroo’s Stradbroke Dreamtime. “Papers: Explorations into Children’s Literature”, 14(1), 5-14. Obtained from https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=025436561782319;res=IELHSS;type=pdf.
JONES. J. (2001). Aboriginal women’s autobiographical narratives and the politics of collaboration. PhD thesis. University of Adelaide.
KABOOL, B. K. Private conversation with ………….. Canberra, 10 April 2017.
KNUDSEN, E. R. (1994). From Kath Walker to Oodgeroo Noonuccal?: Ambiguity and Assurance in My People. “Oodgeroo: a tribute - Australian Literary Studies Journal”, Volume 16 No. 4, 105-118.
MCCORMACK, T. (1988). The Fiction Editor, the Novel and the Novelist. New York: St Martin’s Press.
MCGUINNESS, B., Walker, D. (1983). The politics of Aboriginal literature. In J. Davis, B. Hodge (eds.), Aboriginal Writing Today: Papers from the First National Conference of Aboriginal Writers Held in Perth, Western Australia (43-54). Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
McGrath, P., Phillips, E. (2008). Australian findings on Aboriginal cultural practices associated with clothing, hair, possessions and use of name of deceased persons. “International Journal of Nursing Practice”, 14, 57–66. doi:10.1111/j.1440-172X.2007.00667.x.
MUDROOROO, (1994). The Poetemics of Oodgeroo of the Tribe Noonuccal. “Oodgeroo: a tribute - Australian Literary Studies Journal”, Volume 16 No. 4, 57-62.
NOONUCCAL, O.(1993). Oodgeroo Noonuccal – A Life. ABC documentary film.
NOONUCCAL, O. (1992). Australia's unwritten history: more legends of our land, Sydney: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
NOONUCCAL, O. (1990). Australians Legends and Landscapes. New South Wales: Random House Australia.
NOONUCCAL, O. (1981). Father Sky and Mother Earth. Brisbane: Jacaranda Press.
NOONUCCAL, O. (as Kath Walker) (1977). Senne widziadła (trans. Anna Przedpelska-Trzeciakowska). Warszawa: Nasza Ksiegarnia.
NOONUCCAL, O. (as Kath Walker) (1972). Aboriginal Literature. “Identity” 2.3, 39–40.
NOONUCCAL, O. (1972), Stradbroke Dreamtime. Sydney: Angus & Robertson.
NOONUCCAL, O. (as Kath Walker) (1966). The Dawn Is At Hand. Brisbane: Jacaranda Press.
NOONUCCAL, O. (as Kath Walker) (1964). We Are Going. Brisbane: Jacaranda Press.
O’CONOR, J. (2006). Postcolonial Transformation and Traditional Australian Indigenous Story. “Papers”, 16, 132-136.
PRATT, A. (2005). Practising Reconciliation? The Politics of Reconciliation in the Australian Parliament, 1991-2000. Canberra: Parliament of Australia Department of Parliamentary Services.
Protocols for Producing Indigenous Australian Writing. ((2002) 2007) Australia Council for the Arts, Terri Janke. Obtained from http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/writing-protocols-for-indigeno-5b4bfc67dd037.pdf.
Ravenscroft, A. (2007). Who is the white subject? Reading, writing, whiteness. “Australian Humanities Review”, 42.
Obtained from http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org.
Sad News, Sorry Business: Guidelines for caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through death and dying. (2015) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Capability Team. Queensland: the State of Queensland (Queensland Health). Obtained from
Shoemaker “Performance for the People”. (1944). “Oodgeroo: a tribute – Australian Literary Studies Journal”, Volume 16 No. 4, 164-177.
Stradbroke Dreamtime. (2006). Trove. National Library Australia. Obtained from https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/41429051.
SYKES, R. (1994). While My Name Is Remembered… “Oodgeroo: a tribute - Australian Literary Studies Journal”, Volume 16 No. 4, 35-41.
TAYLOR, A. (1967). Review of ‘The Dawn is at Hand’. “Overland”, 36, p. 44.
WRIGHT, A. (2007). On writing Carpentaria. “Heat Magazine”, 13, 79–95.
How to Cite
License1. The authors give the publisher (Polish Ethnological Society) non-exclusive license to use the work in the following fields:
a) recording of a Work / subject of a related copyright;
b) reproduction (multiplication) Work / subject of a related copyright in print and digital technique (ebook, audiobook);
c) marketing of units of reproduced Work / subject of a related copyright;
d) introduction of Work / object of related copyright to computer memory;
e) dissemination of the work in an electronic version in the formula of open access under the Creative Commons license (CC BY - ND 3.0).
2. The authors give the publisher the license free of charge.
3. The use of the work by publisher in the above mentioned aspects is not limited in time, quantitatively nor territorially.
Number of views and downloads: 174
Number of citations: 0