'Born of an Aboriginal mother, and a white father, Ella was raised by her Aboriginal grandparents. Her grandmother, Kundaibark was a Christian and through her Ella grew up a Christian. In the year of her birth, Ella's grandfather moved his family, together with several other Aboriginal families from the crowded and depressed fringe camp at Taree to a new site further out of town. They constructed their own homes, and a UAM missionary was appointed to work there. A church and school were built, the beginnings of the Purfleet Mission. Ella attended the mission school, and then, in the 1920s, went to Sydney to work as a domestic.' (Publication summary)
This book is dedicated to my grandmother, who taught me about being both Aboriginal and Christian and who cared so much for all people; and to my father for his honesty with the people he knew he had wronged. It has been made possible through my faith in God who enables me to love.
'During the 1980s Aboriginal Australians experienced setbacks in their quest for the restoration of their land rights. Neoliberal politics reframed such demands as special interests seeking to gain a material advantage at the expense of the general community and as a threat to the economic security of the nation. As a consequence, politicians failed to pass legislation that would formalize the national land rights system that would guarantee Aboriginal economic self-sufficiency. This paper argues that it was in this context that Aboriginal memoir emerged to prompt social action by recounting experiences of discrimination and exploitation erased by official history and by challenging the imposed racist stereotypes used to marginalize Aboriginal claims. These memoirs prompted sympathy and understanding among a broad readership, which enabled the formation of a political solidarity over the recognition of Aboriginal land rights. These memoirs also expressed a commonality of Aboriginal experience that served to unite an increasingly frayed Aboriginal activist movement eroded by neoliberal policies.' (Publication abstract)
In this essay the author examines transcripts of Ella Simon's original oral recordings to demonstrate how the 'lack of cultural literacy amongst her non-Aboriginal collaborators led to the prioritisation of monocultural understanding of assimiliation to the detriment of Simon's more pluralist views.' (Source: Jones 2012)