Who Is This Whitefella Fella?

At the Mildura Writers’ Festival in July, I performed a selection of my song lyrics that were first published as stand-alone poetry in Quadrant. I began my set with an Indjubungi Aboriginal translation of my song “Shaddap You Face”, accompanied by clapping sticks and an impromptu “traditional” dust-stomp dance I made up on the spot. The man who translated this lyric for me, Aboriginal elder Gnarnyarrhe Inmurrie Waitarie, whose people come from north of Broome (and whose name means “little blue joey kangaroo born by a spring in the Dreamtime”) and I premiered this variation some years ago at La…

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