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.
Professor Anita Heiss is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales and is one of Australia’s most prolific and well-known authors of Aboriginal literature. She has a PhD in Communication and Media which resulted in a history of Indigenous publishing titled Dhuuluu-Yala : To Talk Straight. Other published works include the historical novel Who Am I? : The Diary of Mary Talence : Sydney, 1937, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, which she co-edited with Peter Minter.
In 2007 Anita released three titles: the novel Not Meeting Mr Right, the poetry collection I'm Not Racist, But... : A Collection of Social Observations, and the children's novel, Yirra and Her Deadly Dog, Demon. These were followed by Avoiding Mr Right and Manhattan Dreaming in 2008 and 2011 respectively. In 2011, Anita released Paris Dreaming and Demon Guards the School Yard, which was written with the students of La Perouse Public School in Sydney for the award-winning Yarning Strong series. Her novel Tiddas is set in Brisbane and was published in 2014. It was followed by Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms in 2016. Anita also edited the anthology Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, which was released in 2018 by Black Inc.
In 2004 Anita was listed in the Bulletin magazine’s 'Smart 100'. Her memoir Am I Black Enough for You? was a finalist in the 2012 Human Rights Awards and she was a finalist in the 2013 Australian of the Year Awards (Local Hero). Anita has made guest appearances on many television programs including the Einstein Factor, Message Stick, Vulture, Critical Mass, A Difference of Opinion (all ABC), The Catch Up (Channel 9), Living Black (SBS), The Gathering (NITV), 9am with David and Kim and The Circle (both Channel 10).
Anita is a sought after public speaker and performer, delivering keynote addresses at universities and conferences across the USA, Canada, the UK, Tahiti, Fiji, New Caledonia, Spain, Japan, Austria, Germany and New Zealand. She has also presented at Australian Embassies and Consulates in Vienna, Paris, New York, Atlanta and Shanghai. She is an Ambassador for the GO Foundation, Worawa Aboriginal College and the Sydney Swans, and a Lifetime Ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Anita is a tireless advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing and has been involved in AustLit's BlackWords project since its inception in 2007.
In 2019, Anita was appointed a Professor of Communications at the University of QLD. She currently sits on the Board of the State Library of QLD.
Bruce Pascoe, a Bunurong man, is a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of southern Victoria, and an award-winning Australian writer, editor, and anthologist. His works have been published nationally and internationally, and have won several national literary competitions. He has combined writing fiction and non-fiction with a career as a successful publisher and has been the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission. He has also worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, farm fence contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker, and editor. He appeared in the SBS TV program, First Australians.
His Jim Fox series of novels were partially set in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (West Papua). As a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, Pascoe edited school readers on the history and language of the Wathaurong people, demonstrating his interest in Indigenous language retrieval and teaching. He has spoken at conferences on Aboriginal culture and edited several anthologies and translations of Australian stories.
Pascoe edited and published Australian Short Stories (1982-1998), a quarterly journal of short fiction. Publishing experimental and traditional short stories by established writers and enabling new writers to demonstrate their potential, the journal continued under the editorship of Howard Firkin at Moolton Press until 2000. Pascoe has run Pascoe Publishing and Seaglass Books with his wife Lyn Harwood.
His book exploring the history of Aboriginal agriculture Dark Emu : Black Seeds : Agriculture or Accident? has attracted considerable attention for its discussion of land management practices in Australia prior to colonisation.
In 2020, he was appointed Enterprise Professor in Indigenous Agriculture at the University of Melbourne.
His non-fiction works include:
Ambelin Kwaymullina graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1998 with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons). She worked in the areas of natural resource management, law reform and politics. Kwaymullina published her first work for children, the picture book Crow and the Waterhole, in 2007.
In February 2010, Fremantle Press announced Ambelin Kwaymullina had been selected among 25 Australian illustrators whose work will be exhibited by the Australian Publishers' Association at the Brologna Children's Book Fair in March 2010 for Crow and the Waterhole. The exhibition promotes Australian culture and literary culture internationally.
She has subsequently published a wide range of children's books, both independently and in collaboration with family members.
Bronwyn Bancroft is an Aboriginal artist and designer from the Bundjalung/Djanbun clan whose artworks have been collected and shown throughout Australia and the world. Bancroft grew up in the country town of Tenterfield and has completed a Diploma of Visual Communications, a Master of Studio Practice and a Master of Visual Arts (Painting).
She founded Designer Aboriginals, a company that showcases her creative works in their different mediums. Bancroft held the position of Chairperson of the National Indigenous Arts Advocacy Association, which aimed to pursue equality for Indigenous people through their creativity.
Blaze Kwaymullina, son of writer Sally Morgan and brother of Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, is a historian who has undertaken PhD studies at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Kwaymullina has lectured in the School of Indigenous Studies, UWA.
While still a baby, Ruth's family moved to the Cherbourg Settlement. At the age of four, Ruth, along with her sister, was separated from the rest of the family and confined to dormitory accommodation until she was fourteen. After working for many years in domestic service, Hegarty married Joe Hegarty and raised a family of eight children.
Ruth Hegarty was a founding member of Koobara Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Resource Centre, president of the Brisbane respite centre Nalingu and has for many years been involved on a volunteer basis with projects for the young and the elderly. In 1998, she was awarded the Premier's Award for Queensland Seniors Year, for services to the community. In 1999, she served as the Queensland representative on the National Committee for the International year of Older Persons. In 2007, she was a member of the Queensland Stolen Wages Working Group for the Senate enquiry into stolen wages of Aboriginal workers.
Hegarty's story was recorded by the National Library of Australia for the Bringing Them Home oral history project and appeared in the associated publication Many Voices: Reflections on Experiences of Indigenous Child Separation edited by Doreen Mellor and Anna Haebich (2002).
Her two autobiographies appeared in 1999 and 2003. After a hiatus, she returned to publishing in 2015 with a series of children's books published by Scholastic Australia.
Gregg Dreise is an author and illustrator and is a descendent of the Kamilaroi people, from south-west Queensland and north-west New South Wales, and (via his grandmother) the Yuwaalaraay people. He was born and raised in St George, Queensland. He has also worked as a teacher.
Joshua Button grew up in saltwater country. His first book, Joshua and the Two Crabs, draws on his family's visits to Crab Creek, a tidal creek that lies in the mangroves of Roebuck Bay near Broome, Western Australia.
Source: Magabala Books website, http://www.magabala.com/
Donna Leslie was the first Indigenous Australian woman to be awarded a PhD from The University of Melbourne. She is a well known Indigenous artist and illustrator who has worked with schools as an artist in residence and also holds professional qualifications in both teaching and art curatorship. Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally.
Donna Leslie's most recent work is Aboriginal Art : Creativity and Assimilation (2008).
'Lorraine Teece is an Elder of the Alyawarra people from Central Australia. She is an accomplished artist and her work is held in collections in Australia and overseas. She is the author of several books and has many academic achievements.' (Source : https://www.magabala.com/author/index/details/id/218)