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Rita Cynthia Huggins Rita Cynthia Huggins i(A14508 works by) (birth name: Gylma) (a.k.a. Rita Huggins)
Born: Established: 10 Aug 1921 Carnarvon Gorge, Central West Queensland, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 27 Aug 1996 Brisbane, Queensland,
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Pitjara/Bidjara
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Rita Cynthis Huggins's mother was Rose, a Bidjara-Pitjara woman and her father was Albert Holt, son of a Yuri woman. Rose's mother was named Lucy Conway from the Maranoa River and Rita had a white father whose name she did not know. Rita was born in the land of the Bidjara-Pitjara people and at an early age, she was taken under the Aborigines Protection Act from her country to Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve. Although times were harsh Rita and her family found some happiness in those years.

In the 1960s, Rita, a single mother was living in Brisbane when Aboriginal politics began to bring changes for the rights of Aboriginal people. Events such as the Freedom Ride and the 1967 Referendum were on the political agenda. Rita's desire was to make life better for herself and her people and she became more active in the Aboriginal community helping her people. Over the years Rita's main interests were her family and standing up for her people's rights and she was an important role model to an entire generation of younger black women. Rita is also the mother of historian, writer and academic Jackie Huggins.

Rita will always be remembered as a well-respected member of both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community. Thousands attended her funeral and it is testimony to her standing in the Aboriginal community and beyond. She was referred to as 'one who possessed the courage of a warrior and was a woman of presence, passion and dignity'.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Auntie Rita Canberra : Aboriginal Studies Press , 1994 Z126649 1994 single work biography (taught in 9 units)

"Most people call me Auntie Rita, whites as well as Aboriginal people. Auntie is a term of respect of our older women folk. You don't have to be blood-related or anything. Everyone is kin. That's a beautiful thing because in this way no one is ever truly alone, they always have someone they can turn to."

Rita Huggins told her memories to her daughter Jackie, and some of their conversation is in this book. We witness their intimacy, their similarities and their differences, the '"fighting with their tongues". Two voices, two views on a shared life.' (Source: Publisher's blurb)

1996 winner Stanner Award
1995 shortlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
Last amended 18 Jun 2015 14:51:42
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