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Herb Wharton Herb Wharton i(A33603 works by) (a.k.a. Herbert Horsely Wharton; Herbert Morsely Wharton)
Born: Established: 1936 Cunnamulla, Cunnamulla area, South West Queensland, Queensland, ;
Gender: Male
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Guwamu / Kooma
(Storyteller) assertion
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Herb Wharton was born in Yumba, an Aboriginal camp in the south-western Queensland town of Cunnamulla, one of eleven children. His maternal grandmother was Kooma, and both grandfathers were Irish. Before Wharton started writing, he worked as a stockman, a drover and a labourer. He took up writing late in life, at around the age of 50 and, with a grant from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board (ATSIAB) of the Australia Council, bought an electric typewriter and began writing poems, some of which were published in various journals.

In 1990, he entered some of his poems for the David Unaipon Award. These were highly commended and the University of Queensland Press then commissioned him to write a novel. His writing career began to flourish after the publication of this first novel, Unbranded (1992), based on his experiences as a stockman in the Australian outback. Since then, he has published several collections of short stories and poetry, and a young adult novel.

A full-time poet and fiction writer, and a recognised story teller, Wharton has also been a prominent speaker at national and international literary festivals and a lecturer in Australian Indigenous literature, and he has travelled extensively throughout Australia and abroad.

More recently, he was involved with Ringbalin: River Stories, a documentary film mapping Indigenous stories of the Murray Darling Rivers (2013).

In 2020, Herb Wharton was the recipient of both an Order of Australia (AM) for signficant service to the literary arts, to poetry, and to the Indigenous community, and a Johnno Award for for outstanding services to writers and writing in Queensland.

Most Referenced Works


Known archival holdings

University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library (QLD)
Last amended 2 Mar 2021 09:55:00
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