Hi. We’ve been doing a lot of presentations on Aussie Yarns over the last two months. Organizations such as University of the Third Age (U3A), View, Probus and National Seniors have made the presentations very enjoyable. Part of what makes each one worthwhile is to see the passion that participants have for the goal of each entity. For example, and these are my words, the focus of U3A is for life-long learning. We’ve found when presenting in such forums, the themes in Hiding Place, Turn on a Light and The WILUNA Solution are seen as ideas to stretch the imagination and thinking of participants, rather than concepts to be challenged or ignored. As another example, people in National Seniors have a focus I describe as being a political voice for older people. And presenting in such forums to people with different views leads to differences in understanding, the product of each one’s analysis, which is then integrated into their ways of thinking. Those differences in thinking caused us to leave knowing that conversations on what had been presented would continue to debated long after we had left. That was particularly true of the National Seniors Group, Kalamunda with 111 people present. Such a wide range of views and the enthusiasm of participants in such meetings can only be healthy, we’re sure.
Different Ways of Thinking
Since embarking on the writing of novels, and mainly because my focus, either directly or indirectly, is on Aboriginal cultures and differences between those cultures and my own, I’ve been criticized on a number of occasions. The criticism is that I’m not an Aboriginal person and not, therefore, of a specific Aboriginal language group. On that basis, I should not be presenting Aboriginal views on such themes as assimilation, dependence and dysfunction. On a few occasions, organizations in rural towns have declined to take copies of my three novels. The reason each time has been that their representative had discussed the idea with local Aboriginal people who made comments similar those already stated.
I agree with the first two comment: I am not an Aboriginal person and as far as I know, am not descended from any Aboriginal person. Therefore, it’s accurate to classify me as not belonging to any specific Aboriginal group. I find, however, that I diverge from the thinking of those who criticize me for presenting on the areas stated. As I say on my home page:
“Interpretations of things Aboriginal in these stories are mine and I am not an Aborigine. In terms of what I write about the Aboriginal world, I readily accept that only Aboriginal people can speak accurately for each one’s language group. So I don’t claim that my summaries and interpretations of Aboriginal ways of knowing and doing are accurate: only that my stories are a whitefella interpretation of what he’s come to learn about those things. And I’m happy to be told there is another way of thinking about them.”
Have a great week, spare a thought about the reason for ANZAC DAY on Tuesday and a reminder that my next short story will be on 101.7 on Saturday, May 7th. I’ll be with you again soon.