Exploring the Contributions of Aboriginal Australian Writers - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1298 Words
Date:  2023-02-07


This research entails diving into the history of the indigenous people of Australia and named a number of significant authors and their various contributions more so on the Aboriginal Australians. Some of their work include:

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  • "My Place" by Sally Morgan
  • "Not Just Black & White" by Lesley Williams
  • "Carpentaria" by Alexis Wright and,
  • "Am I Black Enough for You" by Anita Heiss

The mentioned authors have come up with writings significant to the subject matter of Aboriginal Culture and mostly describe the ill-treatment that was and continues to thrive in Australia. This study is essential in determining the identity of Australia and with this information, one is able to grow their knowledge on the subject matter. As Marcus Garvey said, "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."


The word indigenous simply means an aspect that tends to occur naturally, something that is undisturbed and, in most cases, has been existing for quite some time. Australia is a remarkable country that mostly gains attention globally due to its beautiful cities, sandy beaches and a number of natural phenomena existing across the country. Apart from this, Australia is known to hold one of the most ancient cultures to exist in the world due to the heritage of indigenous people that reside in this area. When discussing the history of the Australia indigenous people, the terms the Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Island often come up. (Aguiar, W., & Halseth, R. 2015). The Aboriginal and the Torres Strait Island people are referred to as the earliest inhabitants of Australian land and it is estimated that they existed in these lands 40,000 to 65,000 years ago before white settlers came to disrupt their way of living. (Stanner, Merlan & Hiatt, 2014) The indigenous people comprised of over 400 different tribes that resided in Australia sharing the resources the land had to offer among themselves.

Throughout the years the history of the indigenous people of Australia has been narrated throughout Australia and for some people, the indigenous people are at the verge of extinction. Research argues that in this day and age, due to their segregation, the indigenous people find it difficult to catch up with the current ways of doing things and most of them are normally poverty-stricken and find it hard to thrive in the new environment. (Stanner, Merlan & Hiatt, 2014) This has obviously created a reaction by people who have a voice for instance authors. Many authors have one way or another expressed their opinions about a number of aspects related to the history of the indigenous people of Australia.


Taking a trip down memory lane reveals that there are a number of atrocities that were committed to the Aboriginal people especially during the colonial period. (Aguiar, W., & Halseth, R. 2015). Authors of Aboriginal heritage have been actively involved in the narration of what conspired during these periods either by stating facts or fictionizing a number of events. A good example is Alexis Wright who is the author of the award-winning book Carpentaria. This book is written based on a fictional town of Desperance which is situated in Carpentaria Australia. (Wright, 2006) Wright portrays how the Aboriginal people struggled to exist in their land having been disturbed by white settlers, the local government and a mining company that continued to threaten the nature of their residence. (Wright, 2006) Some aspects of the Aboriginal struggle are fictionized in order to come up with a lucid depiction of the events that took place. Wright is a member of the Aboriginal people, has created a voice for her people by telling the story of how they have continuously struggled to exist hence raising more and more awareness on land activism.

Apart from the constant segregation experienced by the Aboriginal people stereotyping is also one of the predicaments that this community is being faced with. (Aguiar, W., & Halseth, R. 2015). A number of people in Australia describe the Aboriginal as being illiterate and being fond of behaviors such as walking barefoot and dwelling in the desert. Recently, a section of the Aboriginal people has been ridiculed for claiming they are of Aboriginal origin and yet their skin color is not that dark. In response to these stereotypes, Anita Heiss wrote a book titled, "Am I Black Enough for You" which basically describes how people are constantly making unethical remarks of color and how Australia is struggling with its identity. (Heiss, 2012) The book emphasizes on the literacy of the Aboriginal people and the author herself is an activist that raises awareness on the literacy of indigenous people dwelling in Australia.

Slavery is a practice that has been abolished in a number of parts globally but carefully studying a number of employment conditions offered to people, a new term, modern slavery is adopted. Lesley Williams is an author of Aboriginal descent that narrates a story of how her people were taken against their will and forced to work as laborers under disturbing conditions. (Williams & Williams, n.d.) The book is titled "Not Just Black and White" and clearly explain the atrocity of how Lesley worked for different employers as a laborer without being paid and subjected to ill-treatment. She narrates how her employers gave them their basic needs in rationed amounts that were not quite substantial. It is rather inspirational due to the fact that Lesley is seen asking questions regarding the ill-treatment of the Aboriginal people and her follow up of what the money worked for by the workers catered for is an eye-opener on the subject of Justice for the Aboriginal people. (Williams & Williams, n.d.)

Throughout Australia, the story has been told of how the White man-made efforts to suppress the Aboriginal culture from thriving in Australia. This was done by taking some of the children and raising them in an environment where all Aboriginal culture is eradicated and they are taught new "civilized" ways of living which slowly by slowly erases culture. Ladies were married off to White people and the children are brought up knowing nothing about the history of their people. "My Place" is a book by Sally Morgan which basically is a narration of how at the age of 15 she was on a quest to determine the history behind the indigenous people of Australia. (Smith, Atkins & Morgan, 2003) The author tells a story of how she was brought up not knowing aspects of her culture and she proceeds to question her family about it. She later realizes the sad truth of how the attempts made to suppress the history of the Aboriginal culture have greatly affected the growth of this community.


The history behind the indigenous people reveals a number of atrocities that were committed and have brought a corresponding effect in the position of the Indigenous people of Australia. Even though all these occurred in the past, it is only fair that truth be told and a follow up be conducted to ensure the mistakes that took place are corrected. Indigenous authors have done a great job of coming up with material that is helpful in keeping the indigenous culture alive and raising awareness on the conditions that surrounded and continues to surround Aborigines. Their contribution is of great essence to the heritage and identity of Australia.


Aguiar, W., & Halseth, R. (2015). Aboriginal peoples and historic trauma: the processes of intergenerational transmission. National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health= Centre de collaboration nationale de la sante autochtone.

Heiss, A. (2012). Am I Black Enough for You?

Smith, G., Atkins, W., & Morgan, S. (2003). My place by Sally Morgan. Glebe, N.S.W.: Pascal Press.

Williams, L., & Williams, T. Not just black and white.

Wright, A. (2006). Carpentaria. Giramondo Publishing.

Stanner, W. E. H. (2014). On aboriginal religion. Sydney University Press.

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Exploring the Contributions of Aboriginal Australian Writers - Research Paper. (2023, Feb 07). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/exploring-the-contributions-of-aboriginal-australian-writers-research-paper

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