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Author image courtesy Fremantle Press
Sally Morgan i(132 works by) (birth name: Sally Milroy) (a.k.a. Sally Jane Morgan)
Born: Established: 1951 Perth, Western Australia, ;
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal
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BiographyHistory

Sally Morgan's parents were William Joseph (a plumber) and Gladys Milroy . After her father's death, Morgan and her four siblings were raised by her mother and grandmother. Having been told that they were of Indian background, she discovered in her teens that the family had part-Aboriginal ancestry from her mother's and grandmother's side. This discovery motivated her later research into her family's history and culminated in the writing of her autobiographical work, My Place, which integrates the life stories of her mother (Gladys Milroy), her grandmother (Daisy Corunna) and her grandmother's brother (Arthur Corunna. She married Paul Morgan (a teacher), on September 12, 1972. In 1974 she completed her BA at the University of Western Australia, majoring in psychology, and continued with postgraduate diplomas in Counselling Psychology, Computing and Library Studies at the Western Australian Institute of Technology.

My Place, published in 1987, immediately became a best-seller, regarded as a revelation for white readers into the plight of Aboriginal people. However, the book's extraordinary success has also drawn some criticism, from white and Aboriginal voices, raising questions of authenticity and the construction of Aboriginality, as its author had not experienced life in a 'typical' Aboriginal community. Yet the book has become an 'Australian classic' with more than half a million copies sold in Australia to date. It has been translated into several foreign languages. Morgan has also gained a considerable international reputation as an artist, and has written and illustrated children's books. The Art of Sally Morgan was published in 1996.

Morgan has won numerous awards and prizes, among them the Human Rights Award for her 1989 biography of an Aboriginal relative, Jack McPhee, Wanamurraganya. In 1997 she was appointed Director of the University of Western Australia Centre for Indigenous Art and History. She has also held the positions of Chair of Aboriginal Literature Committee and membership of the Literature Board of Australia Council. Morgan's current work at the School of Indigenous Studies (University of Western Australia) is in the area of oral history. In a 2004 interview she said that she sees writing as 'a vehicle to give people a voice, for people to be heard, a vehicle that can tell our family stories and give a deeper balance and insight into the past as well as the present. I have been helping people to tell their stories. The last eight years I have been working with other Indigenous people and have been doing editorial work for oral history projects, which have been published as community resources.' (Source: Interview with Blanch Lake, Aboriginal Information and Liaison Officer, Arts Law)

Sally Morgan is the mother of Ambelin Kwaymullina, Blaze Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina .

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

We All Sleep 2015 single work picture book children's

' We All Sleep is one of those books that bathes the reader in luscious colour! Ezekiel and Sally take us through an array of well-known Australian animals and their day-time behaviours, adeptly drawing all and sundry together at the end of the day to sleep underneath the stars, reinforcing our bond with nature. The beautiful illustrations are diverse and evocative for those of us who love Australian landscapes – from pink skies to green waves, purple hills and shady forests. We All Sleep works beautifully when read aloud. It is very lyrical and perfect at the day’s end for busy littlies! ' (Publication summary)

2016 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Children's Books
Frog Finds a Place 2015 single work children's fiction children's

'Ever since moonlight shone down on him in his pond, Frog has wanted to live up with the Moon and the stars. He works hard to get there, but although he tries and tries, its a long way for a little frog... ' (Publication summary)

2016 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Notable Book
Sister Heart 2015 single work children's fiction

'A young Aboriginal girl is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south. There, she slowly makes a new life for herself and, in the face of tragedy, finds strength in new friendships. Poignantly told from the child’s perspective, Sister Heart affirms the power of family and kinship.' (Publication summary)

2016 winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Children's Fiction
2016 honours Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year: Younger Readers
2016 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Notable Book
2016 shortlisted Inky Awards Gold Inky
2016 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Young Adult Fiction
Last amended 9 Jun 2015 10:36:20
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