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by Peter Tregear
PUBLISHED 1st FEBRUARY
Platform Paper 38
PETER TREGEAR is a prize-winning performer, author and music academic. A doctoral graduate of King’s College Cambridge, he has held teaching positions in both the UK and Australia. In July 2012 he was appointed Head of School and Professor of Music at the School of Music of the Australian National University.
Watch Harold Mitchell HERE
Introduced by Julie Flynn, CEO Free TV Australia
PUBLISHED 1ST NOVEMBER
Lauren Carroll Harris
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INDIG-CURIOUS Who can play Aboriginal roles?
Platform Paper Issue#
978 0 9807982 9 6
Australia’s first Indigenous writer, David Unaipon (1872–1967) made a commitment to sharing his stories with non-Aboriginal people. Did he hope that they would be valued as part of our country’s cultural expression? Since his time Aboriginal myths and stories have been widely adopted and adapted, often without reference to their origins or history. Homer and Shakespeare are no longer around to defend their work, but Aboriginal people are alive and outspoken about how they are depicted on the page, stage and on the screen. How, if ever, asks Muruwari playwright Jane Harrison, can Aboriginal themes be ‘used’ by others in a way that is acceptable to Aboriginal people? How can non-Aboriginals learn to interpret themes, and indeed, what are Aboriginal themes? Who can give permission and who refuse? What about our shared experiences and common history, do we not all have the rights to that? Harrison treads her way through the challenging issues of exploitation, referencing, literary fraud, blacked-up actors and community ownership. Sharing our history and stories is essential, she writes, for the health of Aboriginal culture. But first we must acknowledge who is in control.
Jane Harrison is a multi-award-winning writer and essayist. Her first play Stolen (1998) has been widely performed in Australia, the UK and Asia, was co-winner of the Kate Challis RAKA award and was set for school study in Victoria and NSW. Her play Rainbow’s End is currently on the school syllabus 2009–12. Other plays are Blakvelvet and Custody.
Listen to Jane Harrison's interview on the Radio National AWAYE! program HERE