Today's Google Doodle

Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s 91st Birthday

Oodgeroo Noonuccal's 91st Birthday

Google celebrates 91st birthday of the Aboriginal right activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal by doodling her. Baptized Kathleen Jean Mary Ruska is also known for her contributions to art and literature of Australia. She was born on 3 November 1920 as the second child to five other siblings. Leaving school at the age of 13 and receiving later training in typing, book keeping and shorthand, Oodgeroo is the first Aboriginal woman to publish a book which has been also extraordinarily successful. She is known to be sharing a sense of justice with her father who led a strike in 1935.

Oodgeroo was a domestic servant most of her adolescence and after becoming imprisoned as a Prisoner of War, she volunteered to serve in the Australian Woman’s Army Service in World War II where she reached the corporal rank and caught her training in shorthand and book keeping. Shortly after her marriage with another Aboriginal, she joined the Communist Party of Australia to fight against racial discrimination. She did not practically get close to her goals in that party and left to eventually build reputation and emerge as a prominent figure in 1960s when she decided to serve as the “Queensland state secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders”. Later, she determined to become totally devoted to Aboriginals of her homeland by buying a property in her birthplace on North Stradbroke Island and establishing Noonuccal-Nughie Education and Cultural Centre.

A number of documentaries and pieces of art are made based on her life and her achievements but she had personally put all her thoughts together with the pain and burden she had undergone over the years in her writing and poems. She had received several awards including the Mary Gilmore Medal in 1970 and the Jessie Litchfield Award in 1975. She was also awarded the Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Award. She died in 1993 when she had already been considered an eminent symbolic figure.

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