Kay's Reviews > Wanamurraganya: The Story Of Jack Mc Phee

Wanamurraganya by Sally Morgan
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's review
Apr 08, 2012

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Although I knew about taking away of aborigine children to raise in schools away from their culture, I have never heard the voices of any of them directly. Wanamurraganya (Jack McPhee) was the son of an aborigine mother and a white father, whom he never knew. These children were known as mardamarda. He was raised as an aborigine, but as an adult tried to get ahead for his family by working on stations and other jobs in the white world. He married an aborigine woman and struggled to support his children. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, but was never a rebel, and had to live with the system, where aborigine men were exploited for their labor, and women for their work and sex. To get an Exemption certificate for certain kinds of work, he had to agree not to associate with aborigines, even though he had a strong sense of family. His story was recorded by Sally Morgan, whose mardamarda grandmother was known to him. It is wonderful to hear the voice of a such a person, who struggled with a rough life in a hard land, but never lost his sense of his own identity.
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