NSWTOx Indigenous

A blog to share information & resources for Outreachers developing & delivering services & programs for Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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Wednesday, October 26

Oodgeroo Noonuccal

Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Oodgeroo Noonuccal was born Kathleen Jean Mary Ruska on 3 November 1920, on North Stradbroke Island, country of the Noonuccal tribe. She attended Dulwich Primary; left school and became a domestic in Brisbane at the age of 13. As an Aboriginal person, she said, 'there wasn't the slightest possibility of getting "a better job" [even] if you stayed on at school' (Murawina, 1993).
Oodgeroo's work has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Mary Gilmore Medal (1970), the Jessie Litchfield Award (1975), the International Acting Award and the Fellowship of Australian Writers' Award. She also held an honourary doctorate of letters (Macquarie University) and was awarded the degree of Doctor of the University from Griffith University. In 1970, Oodgeroo (under the name Kathleen Walker) was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Civil) for services to the community. She returned it in 1987 in protest against the forthcoming Australian Bicentenary celebrations (1988). It was around this time that she reclaimed her traditional name, Oodgeroo of the Noonuccal Tribe.


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