Six Groundings in Indigenous Story for the Australian Creative Writing Classroom

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Abstract

‘All Australian children deserve to know the country that they share through the stories that Aboriginal people can tell them,’ write Gladys Idjirrimoonra Milroy and Jill Milroy (2008: 42). If country and story, place and voice are intertwined, it is vital that we make space in Australian creative writing classrooms for the reading and writing of Australian Indigenous story. What principles and questions can allow us to begin? We propose six groundings for this work:

Indigenous story is literary history, literary history is creative power.
We do culture together: culture becomes in collaboration, conscious or unconscious.
There is no such thing as Indigenous story, and yet it can be performed and known.
Country speaks, to our conceptions of voice and point of view.
History and memory are written in the land and on the body in bodies of practice.
Story transmits narrative responsibility. Narrative responsibility requires fierce listening.
This two-part paper will discuss each of these groundings as orienting and motivating principles for work we do as teachers of introductory creative writing units at the University of Canberra.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalTEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
Volume21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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