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Her father, who belonged to the Noonuccal people, the traditional inhabitants of Minjerribah North Stradbroke Islandwas employed by the Queensland government as part of a poorly-paid Aboriginal workforce; his campaigning for better conditions for Aboriginal workers left a strong impression on his daughter.
She attended Dunwich State School untilwhen, at the age of 13, she left to take up work as a domestic servant in Brisbane.
Working for a number of different families in the s, she was paid poorly but remained in domestic service because of the strong prejudices against and lack of opportunities open to Aboriginal women.
Inshe married Bruce Raymond Walker, a member of the Gugingin Logan people and a childhood friend. Around this time, the couple also grew interested in politics, and became involved in the Communist Party of Australia—the only political party in Australian that did not support the White Australia policy at this time.
By the time their son Denis was born inthe couple had separated, and Kath Walker was forced to raise their son and maintain the household on her own. After her son began experiencing difficulties at school, Walker was forced to return to domestic service, working in the household of two prominent medical doctors, Sir Raphael and Lady Phyllis Cilento.
In the s, Walker became interested in writing poetry. Inencouraged by her contacts in the Realist Writers Group, she submitted a manuscript collection of poems to Brisbane publisher Jacaranda Press.
The work was an immediate commercial success, selling more than ten thousand copies and making Walker the best-selling Australian poet since C.
Her second poetry collection, The Dawn is at Handwas published by Jacaranda in A third collection, My People: A Kath Walker Collectionrev.
During the s, at the same time as developing her reputation as a poet, Walker became increasingly engaged in political activism in support of Aboriginal rights, social justice, and conservationism. Inshe moved to Holland Park, and the following year unsuccessfully stood as the ALP candidate in her local state electorate of Greenslopes.
The event was a pivotal moment for Walker; she returned to Australia convinced of the need for Aboriginal activists to work within their own political organisations rather than white-dominated ones.
Power struggles within the Brisbane Council led Walker to leave the organisation in and return to her ancestral home of North Stradbroke Island. While she was assumed to have withdrawn from public life, Walker had in fact entered a new phase of her career where she assumed the role of educator and cultural guardian and ambassador for her people.
The Centre became an important venue for visiting Aboriginal students from around the country. Walker also travelled widely in the s, going on lecture tours around Australia and overseas, living through a hijacking on a return flight from Nigeria in Walker continued to write and publish, her work now largely reflecting her career as an educator.
More Legends of Our Land Inshe visited China as part of an Australian cultural delegation, the trip providing the inspiration for her fourth and final poetry collection, Kath Walker in China Recognition of her literary, educational and political achievements continued to flow, however; she was awarded honorary doctorates from Macquarie UniversityGriffith UniversityMonash Universityand Queensland University of Technology Oodgeroo died at her home on Stradbroke Island on 16 September Her distinctive and pioneering poetry was part of a literary legacy that went hand in hand with her political life.Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) (–), black rights activist, poet, environmentalist, and educator, was born Kathleen Jean Mary Ruska on 3 November at Bulimba, Brisbane, second youngest of seven children of Edward (Ted) Ruska, labourer, and his wife Lucy, née McCullough.
Home > Poets > Noonuccal, Oodgeroo > Son of Mine Son of Mine by Oodgeroo Noonuccal (To Denis) My son, your troubled eyes search mine, Puzzled and hurt by colour line.
Your black skin soft as velvet shine; What can I tell you, son of mine? I could tell you of heartbreak, hatred blind, I could tell of crimes that shame mankind.
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?Oodgeroo Noonuccal, an Australian poet, uses her work to convey the aspects of Australianexperience. Noonuccal? s poems mainly focus on her own perspective of the culture and beliefs of the both the Indigenous people and white Australians, the racial discrimination that the Aboriginessuffered and the Indigenous people?
s spirituality. Influential writers Poetic Elements: Imagery, Metaphors, Similies and Alliteration 3 Stanzas each 'Son of Mine' 'The Negro Mother' About the Poet: Langston Hughes Born 1st February, 'De'mode'" - No longer in fashion 'Black is beautiful!
Poetry and fiction portrayed the lives of the working class of blacks in . Oodgeroo Noonuccal (/ During the s Kath Walker emerged as a prominent political activist and writer. She was Queensland state secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI), and was involved in a number of other political organisations.