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Coolabah  2012 

Remembering Ruby

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Abstract:

‘Remembering Ruby’ is a tribute to Doctor Ruby Langford Ginibi, a remarkable woman andan important Australian writer. Winner of numerous awards for her contribution to literature,as well as to Australian culture, Ruby was an Aboriginal Elder of the Bundjalung nation and atireless campaigner for the rights of her people.Ruby’s writing is passionate, sincere and heart-felt, as well as extraordinarily funny andarticulate. She knew that getting people to listen to her story would be fundamental to namingthe hidden history of Indigenous Australia and to changing cultural perceptions in a broadercontext. As an elder she took on the complex and demanding role of ‘edumacation’, as shecalled it, and her representations of life and culture continue to provide important reflections,from an Indigenous perspective, on the effects of ignorance, racism and colonisation in anAustralian context. As Aboriginal mother, aunty, teacher and scholar her writing represents aparticular Australian experience for a readership of people interested in human rights andequality the world over.This monograph, in honouring Ruby Langford Ginibi, is the written expression of an ongoingdialogue between the two authors about their experiences living in Australia and the way thatRuby has interconnected with us and influenced our experiences of growing up in anAustralian cultural context. It also brings into focus the many ways that Ruby LangfordGinibi’s writing has been central to challenging and changing prevailing perspectives on thelives of Indigenous people over the last twenty-five years. An excellent communicator with awicked sense of humour, Ruby’s tireless telling of the truth about the impacts of invasion on Indigenous people makes her an important cultural ambassador for all Australians. Ruby’stotem, the Willy Wagtail, is connected to being a messenger for her people and in writing‘Remembering Ruby’ we aim to contribute to keeping her message of hope and resiliencealive and, on the anniversary of her passing, to continue to honour her inimitable and eternalspirit.

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