AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 5710781871566804152.jpg
Author image courtesy Fremantle Press
Sally Morgan Sally Morgan i(A35035 works by) (birth name: Sally Milroy) (a.k.a. Sally Jane Morgan)
Born: Established: 1951 Perth, Western Australia, ;
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Palku / Palyku
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

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) in 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 worked at the School of Indigenous Studies (University of Western Australia) 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)

She continues to write and illustrate children's books, for which she has won or been shortlisted for a wide range of awards.

Sally Morgan is the mother of Ambelin Kwaymullina, Blaze Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, with whom she has co-written a number of works.

Exhibitions

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon This Is Me! Broome : Magabala Books , 2022 23427343 2022 single work picture book children's

'This is Me! by Sally Morgan is a beautiful board book about self-acceptance that all parents, carers, grandparents and families will love to read to their babies, toddlers, forever children (that have been chosen) and to all children full of personality and sass. This simple, elegant book about unconditional love is the perfect way to reinforce to all children that they are unique, important and special just the way they are. 

'Sally Morgan's colourful pastel palette and sensitive artwork shows love in all its forms. The gentle text echoes the deep beauty of loving another and each page is encouragement for a child to say something that they love about themselves. Full of unconditional affection that will stand the test of time, this book is the perfect gift for all families, in all their forms and will be an absolute joy to read over and over again.' (Publication summary)

2022 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Birth to 3 Years
2022 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Indigenous Children
y separately published work icon This Is Me! Broome : Magabala Books , 2022 23427343 2022 single work picture book children's

'This is Me! by Sally Morgan is a beautiful board book about self-acceptance that all parents, carers, grandparents and families will love to read to their babies, toddlers, forever children (that have been chosen) and to all children full of personality and sass. This simple, elegant book about unconditional love is the perfect way to reinforce to all children that they are unique, important and special just the way they are. 

'Sally Morgan's colourful pastel palette and sensitive artwork shows love in all its forms. The gentle text echoes the deep beauty of loving another and each page is encouragement for a child to say something that they love about themselves. Full of unconditional affection that will stand the test of time, this book is the perfect gift for all families, in all their forms and will be an absolute joy to read over and over again.' (Publication summary)

2022 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Birth to 3 Years
2022 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Indigenous Children
y separately published work icon The River Broome : Magabala Books , 2021 22125294 2021 single work picture book children's

'Another simple, universal story from Sally Morgan – this time a beautifully illustrated celebration of the life of the river. The River takes the reader on a journey of what their eyes can see and their ears can hear. See green ants crawling, hear frogs croaking, a goanna running, a fish splashing... Sally Morgan’s beautiful words and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr’s sensitive artwork combine to make this a unique, distinctive children’s picture book with global appeal. Johnny infuses his illustrations with his fine-art aesthetic and his traditional motifs to bring each page to vivid life.' (Publication summary)

2022 joint winner The Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature Picture Fiction
2022 shortlisted The Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature Karajia Award
2022 shortlisted Territory Read Book of the Year Chief Minister's NT Book Awards Young Adult / Children
2022 longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Small Publishers' Children's Book of the Year
2022 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book Early Childhood

Known archival holdings

Albinski 162
National Library of Australia (ACT)
Last amended 27 May 2021 12:30:10
Other mentions of "" in AustLit:
    X