Acrylic on Canvas 2m x2m By Munganbana Norman Miller
Please head to the contact page if you would like to purchase this special painting by Norman.
His long flowing white beard and hair and bushy eyebrows framed a face with big soulful brown eyes as Aboriginal elder Burnum Burnum looked at her and said, “You may be white but you have a black heart, as you understand my people and feel our heart.’ With these words ringing in her ears, the blue-eyed young blond woman got involved with helping the Aboriginal people of Mapoon north of Weipa move back to their land in 1974. They had been moved off at gunpoint by Queensland government police in 1963 to make way for mining which never occurred. It was a matter of mass kidnapping and arson as their hand-built homes and village were burned down so they wouldn’t return.
The two key Aboriginal people involved in the move back are depicted here with Barbara Miller, the young white woman. The elder on the left is Jean Jimmy who made some money shooting crocodiles to go to the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) meetings in Canberra to tell her story which she also wrote down.
The man in the middle is Jerry Hudson, who with his wife Ina, led the move back. He was head stockman at nearby Aurukun and enlisted Barbara to help them move back. They faced much intimidation from the government’s white manager at Weipa South Aboriginal community (now Napranum). Jerry was taken to court for stealing a brumby and Barbara was taken to court for trespassing on Weipa South as the Queensland Aborigines Act was still in operation where permits were required to live on or visit a reserve.
As she brought in support from the outside world and helped the people return, the young white woman found her home as well – as part of an Aboriginal family through marriage. Artist Munganbana, who painted this large canvas, is her husband.
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop
Register until 18 June 2018 6:00 PM
This event commences at 6.30pm. Printed tickets are not issued and your booking will be on a door list under your surname.
Barbara Miller – White Woman Black Heart
Bob Weatherall introduces Barbara Miller’s memoir White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon.
Barbara often found herself saying, “the stork dropped me at the wrong house’ only to find she was repeating her mother’s words. In this riveting memoir exploring race relations and social change, Aboriginal elder Burnum Burnum, told her, “you may be white but you have a black heart, as you understand my people and feel our heart.’ He suggested to International Development Action that she take on the Mapoon project and played matchmaker by introducing her to Aboriginal teacher and Australian civil rights movement leader Mick Miller.
The Mapoon Aborigines were forcibly moved off their land by the Queensland government in NE Australia in 1963 to make way for mining. With an effective team behind her, Barbara helped them move back in 1974 to much government opposition which saw her under house arrest with Marjorie Wymarra. It also saw Jerry Hudson and Barbara taken to court.
In helping the Mapoon people return to their homeland, she found her home as part of an Aboriginal family, firstly Mick’s and later Norman’s as she remarried many years later, now being with her soulmate Norman about 30 years. It is a must read for those interested in ethnic studies and political science as an isolated outback community whose houses, school, health clinic, store and church were burnt to the ground rose from the ashes and rebuilt despite all the odds. It is a testimony to the Mapoon people’s strength.
Barbara’s husband Norman will be performing a song he wrote called ‘Reconciliation’.
From her background in a poor working class white family in urban Australia, Barbara, with Aboriginal husband Norman, who is also a pastor, travel the world. They have a calling to heal groups from the wounds of history through the Centre for International Reconciliation and Peace they co-founded in 1998. This work has taken them to Israel, Jordan, Turkey, England, Zimbabwe, Canada, USA, PNG, Vanuatu and many other places.
Barbara has worked at the coalface of Aboriginal affairs in Australia from her involvement in the Aboriginal Tent Embassy demonstrations in Canberra in 1972 to helping the Mapoon people move back to their land in 1974, to co-founding the North Queensland Land Council with former husband Mick Miller in 1977 to being CEO of the Aboriginal Co-ordinating Council (ACC) in the 1990’s and much more. The ACC was the only statutory advisory body to the Queensland government on Aboriginal affairs at the time and represented local government Aboriginal councils who had a land base.
Talk by Barbara Miller, author of ‘White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon, A Memoir’
Wednesday 18 July 1.15pm
Barbara Miller is an intriguing combination of social justice campaigner and researcher with sociological training. As a psychologist, she has helped many people break free of mindsets that have prevented them reaching their full potential.
Purpose of the Bill: To make provision with respect to slavery, slavery-like practices and human trafficking and to provide for the appointment and functions of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner and for other purposes.
And Book Launch/Signing with BARBARA MILLER and her book ‘White Woman Black Heart:
Journey Home To Old Mapoon, A Memoir’
This is a highly engaging and inspiring memoir. At its centre is the story of Mapoon which has all the elements of a great drama with the violent expulsion of the community in 1963 and their triumphant return eleven years later. As the author explains she came almost by chance to be at the very centre of the drama which in turn dramatically changed her life. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in political and social change over the last 50 years.
$15 per person. RSVP to Judy 0410 403 616 or firstname.lastname@example.org by 18/7/18