Autralian Insights – Oodergoo Noonuccal
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Oodgeroo Noonuccal, an Indigenous Australian poet has conveyed her aspects of Australia as negative and positive with the poems “We are going” and “Ballad of the totems”. She uses poetic techniques to support her opinions about how Australia is a racist discriminative country who bases their opinions about people on the colour of their skin and disrespecting the land, and also how Australia was a peaceful land which respected their land and ways. She shows anger and frustration in the poem “We are going”, whilst in “Ballad of the totems” she shows humour and family feud in the Aboriginal ways.

Firstly in the poem “We are going”, Noonuccal shows her negative encounters with the whites who had ruined the land, but she also shows anger and frustration towards her own people. This is shown in the repetition of the words “We are”. She shows the frustration in her words by attempting to persuade her people to think alike to her by the use of repetition, because they had just watched their culture and ways of life disintegrating. Also by reinforcing the importance in the word “We” she is saying that the Aboriginals arent each just singular people, but one; that they should hold forces and fight for their land, instead of watching in shock as the settlers ruin their ways of life. Her anger towards the Europeans are shown throughout the poem, one example is regarding the “white men” to “ants” showing how little she thinks of their ways of hurrying around and destroying the sacred land, hence, their sacred customs. This is proven in how the Europeans are tipping rubbish in their bora ring, their sacred ceremonial grounds. Her passionate poem about her frustration towards her people shows the experiences that she has had in her life.

A more positive experience in Noonuccals life is shown in the poem “Ballad of the totems”; she incorporates humour into the way of life of the Aboriginals in this poem. The Aboriginals loyalty of their culture is shown in how Noonuccals father wont kill the carpet snake because it is his totem, even though the snake kept eating the hens and even though his wife had a passionate anger and hatred towards the snake. This shows the strong bond that the Aboriginals have for nature. Noonuccal also has shown that even the children werent afraid of the snake, shown in how “only the dog was scared of him”. This again shows how tightly bonded the Aboriginals were to nature. Noonuccal also shares with us the experience of grief when a family member dies, and shows the incorrect rhythm in life with using internals in the second last stanza, in which the death of her father is briefly discussed in. She skilfully uses her poetic techniques to support what she has experienced in her Aboriginal way of life.

Noonuccal has shown that Australian experiences can be positive and

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Oodgeroo Noonuccal And Use Of Repetition. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from