Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


English Literatures, Philosophy and Languages - Faculty of Arts


This thesis attempts a complex negotiation between critical and creative writing modes, articulated through the prism of Indigenous issues. As an urban Indigenous writer and critic, I have sought to provide a platform from which it may be possible both to chart a recognisable urban Indigenous *voice* and to see how it can be given shape through the medium of contemporary theatre. Critically the thesis examines the absence of an urban Indigenous voice within mainstream Australia and the reasons for its absence. It asks how the identity, legitimacy and supremacy of that voice can be accommodated. The creative works contained within the thesis are disparate in time, *voice* and setting, demographics: Positive Expectations is contemporary and urban, a more conventionally structured drama looking at issues about racial and sexual identity and questions of family. Waiting for Ships is a dramatic monologue that addresses more personal issues to do with the Stolen Generations and the politics of child removal. Both provide different takes on what an urban Indigenous voice can sound like and the messages it can speak. This thesis argues that there has always been a need for an *urban* Indigenous voice, but that that voice has largely been silenced by academe, industry, politics. As a result, urban Aboriginal people may well experience a redoubled sense of cultural loss because of this effective denial of their identity. This thesis seeks to provide a platform for this Indigenous voice to be heard. Finally, this thesis argues for the connection between the theatre and the public and the need for theatre to be both a platform for didactic performance and the vehicle to engage readers and audiences as essential participants in the process of reshaping views about the role of urban Aboriginal people in theatre, politics and nation.

02Whole.pdf (1656 kB)



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.