Noongar and Yawuru poet and academic Elfie Shiosaki writes in the introduction to her new poetry collection, Homecoming, that it is the story of four generations of Noongar women of which she is the sixth. The poems are ‘fragments of many stars’ in her ‘grandmothers’ constellations’. Shiosaki ‘tracks her grandmothers’ stars’ to find her ‘bidi home’. The introduction reads as a ... (read more)
Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri writer, poet and academic from southwest New South Wales. Her poetry and short stories have been published in Hecate, The Journal for the Association European Studies of Australia, Australian Poetry Journal, Antipodes, Overland and ABR. Jeanine has published widely in the area of Aboriginal literature, writing otherness and creative non-fiction. She has won the University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize, and the Oodgeroo Noonucal Prize for Poetry twice (2017, 2019). Her second volume of poetry, Walk Back Over, was released in 2018 by Cordite Press. Jeanine teaches Creative Writing and Aboriginal Literature at the University of Melbourne where she has been awarded Australian Research Council Fellowships for her research on Aboriginal writing, cultural history, and storytelling and the archive. In 2020, Jeanine edited Guwayu – for all times, a collection of First Nations Poetry commissioned by Red Room Poetry and published by Magabala Books.
Whitefellas have a license to stare incar parks, foyers, forums and gatherings atanybody else who doesn’t look white.They’re famous for asking Blackfellaswhere we come from even though theybelong to the oldest diaspora of all. Whitefellas are experts onAboriginal affairs and have ready opinions.In particular white men in the academy seem to know a lot about Aboriginal women. Sometim ... (read more)
For Patrick White (1976) When the Badtjala people discovered Eliza Fraser,her story of cannibals devoured a history.A century later when the Badtjala peoplerescued Ellen Roxborough on the fringes of paradiseWhite's imagination captured the Aborigine –the Blacks – for the nation.When she ate Badtjala woman's flesh,she swallowed us all and we passed through thebowels of colonial mytholo ... (read more)
For Garry Papin and the Muthi-Muthi People of Lake Mungo Lady Mungo heard the white scientists tramplingon her people's sacredness and she began to surface –to speak.While you archaeologists are stomping onour graves arguing about the depth of yournew Pleistocene layer my people already knowthe story that always was.They stumbled on my head in five hundredpieces – they said – no big ... (read more)
As a new century dawned white Australians were urgedto feel comfortable and relaxed about their history.'Shake off that irksome black arm band – legacy of radicallefties who can't leave well enough alone – and theirtiresome chant that white Australia has a Black history andwe all have blood on our hands.We've got a new song to sing now!' Right wing historians hummed the new tuneand set about ... (read more)
This cardboard prison they call an archiveis cold, airless and silent as death.Floor to ceiling boxes contain voicesno longer heard yet still wailing withinand faces no longer seen yet still missing in ajail of captured snippets, images and memorieslike the severed heads and bleached bones ofdismembered bodies neatly locked away in the vaultsof museums and universities of the worldin the name of s ... (read more)