Degree Name

Doctor of Creative Arts


Faculty of Creative Arts


This thesis researches and then creatively explores the life of a Wiradjuri Wiringin the fictitious western N.S.W. goldmining town of Bindari.

The poetry sequence, WHUNGIN: BROTHER OF FIRE, covers the period 1889- 1908 and deals mainly with Billy Pogo's contact with the mining community, and events leading to his tragic death at the mine edge.

The graphic works have derived mainly from ideas generated in the sequence, and in some cases have provided stimulus for further poetry. As much as possible, I have attempted to cross reference common ideas and feelings into each of the three creative disciplines.

The stage play is set in contemporary Bindari. The existence of Billy Pogo's skull the local hotel, and the proposed reopening of the mine on land deemed sacred by the Aborigines, generates dramatic conflict.

Volume One contains the poetry sequence WIRINGIN: BROTHER OF FIRE, the stage play, BILLY POGO'S FIRE and a laser printed selection of associated graphics (photography and photomontage drawings).

Volume Two includes background research on place, people, and the Wiringin phenomenon, as well as documentation of the creative development of work within each discipline.

In the graphics section I closely examine the archival photograph which inspired creative program, and as a non-Aboriginal I attempt to state my views on the appropriation of Aboriginal material. My awareness of this contentious issue prompted me to offer the work in progress to Aboriginal scrutiny and comment wherever possible.


CORRECTION: This thesis takes creative inspiration from a photograph of an Aboriginal man in a top hat, incorrectly identifying him as ‘King Billy Mogo’, which inspired the fictional character, Billy Pogo. This photograph is of the Aboriginal elder known as King Jacky Springheal, of the Barrington NSW, who died in 1909 and has family in the Barrington, Gloucester and Kempsey areas of NSW.



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.