A note from the Editors
In considering the Meanjin Paper for this edition, we have dived deep into the archives of Meanjin, seeking to honour the voices of those that have come before. Through our reading of the archives, we understand that many of the issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have remained the same for close to 45 years: the failures of government policy and funding that directly impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the devastating impacts of racism, and the social issues that continue to harm our people such as poor health outcomes and suicide. Through our reading, we have also found that our strengths remain the same, a fact that is deeply heartening to us—our families, the care for our children, our culture and its resurgence, and our self-determination and vision for our futures.
Ultimately, what we have selected for this edition’s Meanjin Paper is an interview with Oodgeroo Noonuccal (then known as Kath Walker) from 1977. Noonuccal is deeply respected within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities for her work as an activist, an educator and a poet. As Peter Minter wrote in his Editorial, ‘Listen Up’, for the Autumn 2006 edition of Meanjin: ‘change evolves from the extraordinary work of Aboriginal elders, families, educators and cultural warriors who have lived to protect, repair and advance their cultures, often in intolerable social and material conditions. This issue of Meanjin is dedicated to them.’