A poem about bigotry and the horrors it creates for the people it is perpetrated against.
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Oodgeroo Noonuccal (/ˈʊdʒəruː/ /ˈnuːnəkəl/ UUD-gə-roo NOO-nə-kəl; born Kathleen Jean Mary Ruska, formerly Kath Walker) (31 November 1920 – 16 September 1993) was an Australian poet, political activist, artist and educator. She was also a campaigner for Aboriginal rights. Oodgeroo was best known for her poetry, and was the first Aboriginal Australian to publish a book of verse.[3
During the 1960s she emerged as a prominent political activist and writer. She was Queensland state secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI), and was involved in a number of other political organisations. She was a key figure in the campaign for the reform of the Australian constitution to allow Aboriginal people full citizenship, lobbying Prime Minister Robert Menzies in 1965, and his successor Harold Holt in 1966. At one deputation in 1963, she taught Robert Menzies a lesson in the realities of Aboriginal life. After offering the deputation an alcoholic drink, he was startled to learn that in Queensland he could be jailed for doing the same thing.
She wrote many books, beginning with We Are Going (1964), the first book to be published by an Aboriginal woman. The title poem concludes:
The scrubs are gone, the hunting and the laughter.
The eagle is gone, the emu and the kangaroo are gone from this place.
The bora ring is gone.
The corroboree is gone.
And we are going.
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