Oodgeroo Noonuccal

Saturday 18 August 2018, 2:30-4:00pm

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In its annual Honouring Australian Writers series, Writing NSW (formerly the NSW Writers’ Centre) pays tribute to writers who have made an important contribution to our literary culture.

This year we honour Oodgeroo Noonuccal (1920-1993), Australia’s first published Aboriginal poet. Oodgeroo Noonuccal, known publicly as Kath Walker until 1988, when she readopted her traditional name, was also a political activist, educator, and artist. The event celebrating her contribution to Australian literature will include conversations, readings, and archival materials.

With writer, academic, and poet Peter Minter; Indigenous poet and activist Evelyn Araluen; director of the Oodgeroo Noonuccal documentary Shadow Sister Frank Heimans; and Brenda Saunders.

The Honouring Australian Writers series is made possible with support from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and the State Library of NSW.

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, teacher and researcher working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. She has written poetry and criticism for a range of publications, including Overland and Southerly. In 2017 she won the Nakata Brophy Award for Young Indigenous Writers, and in 2018 won the Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Born and raised on the Dharug lands of Western Sydney, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung nation.

Frank Heimans is a documentary filmmaker, oral history producer and interviewer. Since the 1970s he has recorded more than 1,000 oral history interviews and directed and produced over fifty television documentaries for his company, Cinetel Productions.

He was the founding producer, writer, director and editor of Australian Biography (broadcast on SBS Television) and produced the first 32 programs in this landmark series on iconic Australians. His documentary films have been screened on television in Australia and in 30 countries and at many international film festivals and have won 21 Australian and international awards. In 2011 he was awarded the Hazel de Berg Award for excellence in oral history by Oral History Australia.

Peter Minter is a poet, poetry editor and writer on poetry and poetics. His poetry has been widely published and translated internationally, most recently in the volume In the Serious Light of Nothing (Chinese University Press Hong Kong, 2013). He has been a teacher of Aboriginal literature and Indigenous Studies for over two decades, and among his many editorial and curatorial projects he co-edited the groundbreaking Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature. He is a senior lecturer in English, Creative Writing and Indigenous Studies at the University of Sydney, and lives in the Blue Mountains.

Brenda Saunders is Wiradjuri writer and artist living in Sydney. She has won several prizes and fellowships and in 2014 was awarded the Scanlon Prize and the Woolhara Literary Prize for her collection ‘Looking for Bullin Bullin’. She has published three collections and her poetry and literary reviews appear regularly in national and international anthologies and journals including Best Australian Poems 2013 and 2015 (Black Inc). Brenda is currently completing a manuscript ‘Understory’ concerned with changes to Aboriginal culture and land since colonization.

For more information and resources on Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s life and writing, visit our research page.





The Honouring Australian Writers series is made possible with support from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and the State Library of NSW.

Please note, this event will include images of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Image credit: Oodgeroo of the Noonuccal Tribe 1992 © George Fetting/Copyright Agency, 2018 , Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

This event has already taken place.

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