Barbara Miller - White Woman Black Heart
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop
This event commences at 6.30pm. Printed tickets are not issued and your booking will be on a door list under your surname.
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.