Double Native: A moving memoir about living across two cultures

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, Women on 2012-07-15 00:31Z by Steven

Double Native: A moving memoir about living across two cultures

University of Queensland Press
304 pages
ISBN: 978 0 7022 3917 5

Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung

Growing up ‘on country’ on the west coast of Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula in the 1970s and ’80s, Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung had an idyllic traditional life. At the age of 16, she decided to pursue her dream of performing and moved to Sydney to attend the NAISDA Dance College. There she studied with the legendary Page brothers before they founded Bangarra Dance Theatre and met her future husband and father of her three daughters.

But the missing piece of her life was her father. As a young woman, she finds her father and carves out a fragile relationship with him. This inspires her to better understand her Austrian ancestry and how it meshes with her Indigenous identity.

Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung is the model of a modern woman: mother and professional; performer and creator; teacher and student, urban dweller and remote community inhabitant. As such she shares the joys and challenges that come with growing up in a divided community and carving out a career as a solo parent.

Double Native is a powerful and candid memoir that offers a rare insight into the burgeoning years of the contemporary Indigenous dance movement and what it means to straddle two cultures.

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