AustLit logo
Firing on in the Mind single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 1987... 1987 Firing on in the Mind
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.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This article examines the life experiences of Aboriginal women domestics during the inter-war years of the the 1920s and 1930s. [...] Interviews were conducted in Brisbane in June and July 1987 with the late June Bond, Rita Huggins, Margaret Pickering and Agnes Williams of Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement, Daphne Lavelle from Hervey Bay and Annie Hansen from Lake Nash.' (p. 3).


  • Author's note [from Sister Girl]: I wanted to write about the silent history of Aboriginal women that has been the experience of so many of my mother's and grandmother's generatoin. Although we learnt about the pioneering efforts of mostly European males, little was recorded about the 'backbone' of the pastoral industry, the Aboriginal men and women who toiled as stockmen and domestic servants. This is so much a part of Australian history and it is about my history. The stories deserve recognition and need to be rescued, recorded and shared. I wrote this piece in 1987, just prior to the bicentenary. (p. 1)
  • Epigraph: In attempting to present evidence of our true situation we are furiously attacked by white Australians... going back 200 years... the past is finished!... Yet kill [our] mother, rape [our] land, psychologically attack and keep [us] in a powerless position each day - does it not fire on in the mind of the victim? Does it continue to scar and affect the thinking? Deny it, but still it exists. -- Kevin Gilbert

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Hecate Hecate : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women's Liberation vol. 13 no. 2 1987 Z888905 1987 periodical issue 1987
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Sister Girl : The Writings of Aboriginal Activist and Historian Jackie Huggins Jackie Huggins , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1998 Z215395 1998 selected work prose interview essay biography (taught in 4 units) The articles in this collection 'represent a decade of writing by Aboriginal historian and activist Jackie Huggins. These essays and interviews combine both the public and the personal in a bold trajectory tracing one Murri woman's journey towards self-discovery and human understanding...Sister Girl examines many topics, including community action, political commitment, the tradition and value of oral history, and government intervention in Aboriginal lives. It challenges accepted notions of the appropriateness of mainstream feminism in Aboriginal society and of white historians writing Indigenous history. Closer to home, there are accounts of personal achievement and family experience as she revisits the writing of Auntie Rita with her mother Rita Huggins - the inspiration for her lifework.' (Source: Back cover, 1998 UQP edition) St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1998 pg. 1-24
Last amended 22 Nov 2011 14:49:26
1-24 Firing on in the Mindsmall AustLit logo
Firing on in the Mindsmall AustLit logo Hecate