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Hyllus Maris Hyllus Maris i(A17651 works by) (birth name: Hyllus Briggs)
Born: Established: 1934 Echuca, Echuca area, Goulburn - Campaspe area, Northern Victoria, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 1986 Victoria,
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal Yorta Yorta / Yota Yota ; Aboriginal Wurundjeri / Woiwurung ; Aboriginal
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Hyllus Maris was born into the Yorta Yorta tribe, the original inhabitants of the River Murray area and traditional owners of that region. She also had Wurundjeri heritage. As a child Maris participated in the walk-out from Cummeragunha, a Government Mission. That event inspired an episode in Women of the Sun (1981). A sociologist and prominent activist in Aboriginal community development, Maris was the founder of Worawa College, Frankston, the first Aboriginal school in Victoria, and initiated several other Aboriginal organisations.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

form y separately published work icon Women of the Sun ( dir. James Ricketson et. al. )agent 1982 St Kilda : Generation Films , 1982 Z1684559 1982 series - publisher film/TV historical fiction

A ground-breaking television series, Women of the Sun was, according to Moran in his Guide to Australian TV Series, born out of co-writer Sonia Borg's desire for a more balanced televisual representation of Indigenous Australians: 'Angry at the plight of Aborigines, she was concerned that many scriptwriters could conceive of Aboriginal women only as prostitutes.' To counter this tendency, she contemplated a series that showed Australian history from the perspective of Aboriginal women, a project for which she sought the colloboration of sociologist and social worker Hyllus Maris.

Because, as Moran notes, it 'portrayed the history of Aboriginal people since the incursion of the whites, focusing on the relations between blacks and whites over the previous 200 years', Women of the Sun 'was a direct counter to the various official histories in preparation for the Bicentennial celebrations in 1988'.

Women of the Sun is divided into four parts, each of which focuses on a different woman in a different period of history.

'Alinta the Flame' (set in the 1820s) shows the interaction between the two cultures as an Indigenous Australian tribe (the Nyari) nurse back to health two English convicts whom they find washed up on the beach, only to find the new settlers increasingly encroaching on Nyari lands--a process that ends in the annihilation of the entire tribe, barring Alinta and her young daughter.

'Maydina the Shadow' (set in the 1890s) follows Maydina, abducted and abused by a group of seal-hunters, from whom she eventually escapes with her daughter Biri (who is of mixed Indigenous Australian and European heritage). Taken in by Mrs McPhee, head of a church mission, Maydina is separated from her child and sent into service for the church. When she falls in love with an Indigenous Australian man and attempts to leave with him and Biri to return to a traditional lifestyle, Mrs McPhee has them pursued by troopers, who kill Maydina's lover and remove Biri from her care.

'Nerida Anderson' (set in 1939) focuses on the Cumeroongunga Walkout, showing the deterioration in conditions on the reserve through the eyes of Nerida Anderson, raised on the reserve and returning there after a period working in the city as a book-keeper. Her attempts to foster improvement on the reserve are greeted angrily by the reserve manager, who attempts to have Nerida and her family tried for treason; ultimately, Nerida incites a successful walkout.

'Lo-Arna' (set in the 1980s) focuses on 18-year-old Ann Cutler's discovery that she is not of French Polynesian descent as she believed, but actually the biological daughter of her adoptive father and Alice Wilson, an Indigenous Australian woman from a nearby town, prompting her to reconsider her relationship with her adoptive parents and with her own identity.

Moran notes of the series as a whole that 'Although each of the four episodes of Women of the Sun is self-contained, nevertheless, taken together the episodes powerfully suggest what 200 years of white contact has done to Aboriginal society'.

1983 winner AWGIE Awards Television Award Original
1983 winner AWGIE Awards Major Award
1982 winner International Awards Canadian Banff Television Festival Award for Main Drama
1982 winner International Awards United Nations Media Peace Prize
Last amended 28 Apr 2017 14:01:44
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