Respected Bundjalung woman and writer Ruby Langford Ginibi has died in Sydney at the age of seventy-seven. 'Aunty Ruby' Ginibi came to public notice in 1988 through her autobiography Don't Take Your Love to Town. The book, published during Australia's Bi-centennial Year, won a Human Rights Commission Award for Literature and Other Writing.
Ginibi's writing continued to win awards and in 2005 she received the Australia Council's Writers' Emeritus Award. The prize 'recognises the achievements of Australian writers over the age of sixty-five who have made an outstanding contribution to the field and created an acclaimed body of work'. Jennifer Bott, then CEO of the Australia Council, said at the time that Ginibi 'has changed the face of autobiographical writing in Australia. She has used the spark of her own life story to deliver a fiery condemnation of many of the injustices of Australian society. Anyone who has read Dr Langford Ginibi’s groundbreaking Don't Take Your Love to Town can testify to the power of her stories in giving readers insight into the unique experiences of Aboriginal women.' (Award media release)
In an interview with Frank Heimans for the National Library of Australia's Oral History project, Ginibi was asked to speak frankly in the knowledge that the recorded tapes and transcripts would not be released without her authority. Ginibi replied: 'I'm known for my frankness' and the transcript is freely available via the National Library's website.