Fryer Library In Conversation: First Nations perspectives on Indigenous collections

7 October 2020

Originally published by the Fryer Library on 11 August 2020

As part of The University of Queensland's NAIDOC Festival 2020, the Fryer Library was joined by Professor Tracey Bunda, Associate Professor Sandra Phillips and Mia Strasek-Barker, the Library's Reconciliation Action Plan Officer to discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander materials from the Fryer collections.

Watch the conversation

Watch the video below for a discussion of three items from Fryer Library collections. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this video contains names of deceased persons.

The video

First Nations perspectives on Indigenous collections (YouTube, 42m55s)



The items

Find out more

Dick Roughsey

Goobalathaldin, later called Dick Roughsey, was a Lardil man born on Mornington Island who had a passion for sharing his traditional knowledge through art. He began doing bark paintings early in his career, moving on to using oil paints after encouragement from his friends Percy Trezise and Ray Crooke. He wrote several prize-winning books for children including The Rainbow Serpent.

Find out more about Goobalathaldin Dick Roughsey on the QAGOMA blog.

Visit Papers of Dick Roughsey and Percy Trezise on Fryer Manuscripts.

Judy Watson

Watson is a Waanyi woman from Mundubbera who now lives in Brisbane and bases much of her artistic practice around Aboriginal culture and history. Her 2005 artist's book, a preponderance of aboriginal blood, was inspired by a lecture given by Loris Williams, the first qualified Aboriginal archivist in Queensland. Five copies were created and the one in the Fryer Library collection is number 3. The work was republished in 2019 in a hardback book format with an essay by Michele Helmrich.

Find out more about Judy and a preponderance of aboriginal blood at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia website.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal

Oodgeroo, also known as Kath Walker, was a Quandamooka woman from Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) who became well known for her poetry, political activism and teaching. As well as publishing several volumes of poetry, Oodgeroo educated generations of school children in Aboriginal culture from her education centre at Moongalba on Minjerribah. This year, 2020, would have been her 100th birthday.

Find out more about Oodgeroo from the Australian Poetry Library.

Visit Oodgeroo Noonuccal Papers on Fryer Manuscripts.

Further Reading

If you want to find out more about some of the other references made in the video, check out the resources below.

First Nations collections at Fryer

The Fryer Library is privileged to act as a custodian for the manuscripts and published works of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In addition to the items discussed in the video, Fryer holds a wide range of collections relating Indigenous languages and culture including the papers of:

Fryer Library collections are available to view by appointment Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 5pm in the FW Robinson Reading Room on Level 4, Duhig Tower, St Lucia Campus. Contact library staff by emailing to make an appointment.

Learn how to find and access rare and unique material from across the Library on their new Special collections page.