Oodgeroo’s way was negotiation. But her son, Denis Walker, was more radical. He co-founded the Australian Black Panthers, a group based on the violent American civil rights organization of the same name. Sam Watson, the author of this play, was his co-founder.
This new work weaves Oodgeroo’s personal and cultural life with her time on the Tunisian tarmac to tell the previously untold story of the tensions that tore at the fabric of one of Australia’s most prominent families.
“Oodgeroo Noonuccal – Kath Walker – has given Australian culture, both black and white, so much to be proud of… It is to Sam Watson’s credit that he has managed to compress so much into the ninety minutes of this very important piece of theatre.” – 612 ABC, July 2009.
Oodgeroo was commissioned by the La Boite Theatre Company and first performed in 2008, with the support of the Australian Council, the Queensland Government and the office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy.
These notes are intended as a starting point for your own lesson plans or strategies. They provide a context for some of the key ideas, issues and events in the play, as well as some suggested activities and assessment tasks to explore the work further.
Key Issues Unpacked:
Identity, Indigenous Australian culture and history, Political activism and the role of the artist in society.
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