Read. This is poetry. Both a praise and a lament for Country. Read. There is little like it. Australia struggles with an embrace of the past, but Louise Crisp does not flinch from the intimacy of fact. If there is regret here, there is also hope – hope and a plea to you, reader, to witness the works of those for whom the land is not their mother.
Aboriginal people were born from Mother Earth and have no alternative but total allegiance. But acceptance of the colonial means that the Australian frontier has been misrepresented in what has been taught in our schools, and the economy and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been ignored. Country is that economy, and Crisp has devoted her life’s research to its upkeep. We must embrace the country beyond Donald Bradman, Vegemite and The Man from Snowy River. We have to look at the bush as its own place, not just as a repository for sheep and cattle.
Read the full text of Bruce’s introduction to Yuiquimbiang (Cordite Publishing Inc.) HERE.