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TitleDouble Native: A Moving Memoir About Living Across Two Cultures
File Size1.7 MB
Total Pages310
Table of Contents
Author biography
Part 1 - Run With It
	Chapter One
	Chapter Two
	Chapter Three
	Chapter Four
	Chapter Five
	Chapter Six
	Chapter Seven
	Chapter Eight
	Chapter Nine
Part 2 – Growing Into Self
	Chapter Ten
	Chapter Eleven
	Chapter Twelve
	Chapter Thirteen
	Chapter Fourteen
	Chapter Fifteen
	Chapter Sixteen
	Chapter Seventeen
	Chapter Eighteen
Part 3 – Changing Heart
	Chapter Nineteen
	Chapter Twenty
	Chapter Twenty-one
	Chapter Twenty-two
	Chapter Twenty-three
	Chapter Twenty-four
	Chapter Twenty-five
	Chapter Twenty-six
	Chapter Twenty-seven
Picture section
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung, daughter of a

Mbaiwum woman and an Austrian father, was raised by her

grand parents and grew up between the two communities of

Napranum (Weipa South) and Aurukun on the west coast

of Cape York Peninsula. Fiona graduated from the National

Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (Naisda) Dance College,

Sydney, and James Cook University and has worked as a freelance performer

and choreographer.

Her biography/family memoir about her grandmother Jean George,

Whispers of This Wik Woman, won the 2003 David Unaipon Award and was

published by UQP in 2004. It was also made into a play performed by the

Kooemba Jdarra Theatre Company. She has written three other works for the

stage and also written and published a children’s book called On Country: Stories

of N yrlotte (2006). Fiona currently lives in Brisbane with her three daughters.

Page 155


double native

‘Instead there were huge crocodile tracks that stopped just
beneath where the pig had been hanging from the tree. The tracks
doubled up, indicating it had passed me on its way back into the

My eyes widened.
‘I might have taken the pig’s life, but it ended up saving mine.’
‘That’s the second time you’ve cheated death when it comes

to crocs, Dad. What did you do after that?’
‘I decided to come back to Weipa.’
‘You had to be made, I suppose.’

All too soon Monday arrived. This time Dad was departing the
proper way. He had respectfully acknowledged the affair he had
with the woman he kept stealing off with into the bush, the land of
her forefathers, and he had acknowledged and accepted the seeds
that resulted from that business – me and his grand daughters. Out
of respect, Mum and Nan also came out to the airport to farewell
Dad. I was so happy that they suggested it; I had been wrapped
up in Dad all weekend and hadn’t stopped to check how they
were doing. It was obvious now that I had their support even if no
words were exchanged.

‘I’ll be in touch soon. You, Dan and the girls must come
down to visit as soon as it is conveniently possible.’

This was the second time he was leaving me and Weipa
behind. Was I really going to see him again? Was he going to con-
tinue to be a part of my life or was he going to just disappear back
into the comfortable, cushy life that he had created for himself?

Page 156



Not long after Dad left, Danny got a job with Comalco in the regeneration section, which resulted in a house in town
being offered to us. It was only about 10 or 15 kilometres away
and I loved the idea. Even though Napranum was my home it
was far too noisy and the constant family demands and interrup-
tions were getting a bit much to keep up with. We moved into
a house at Trunding in Weipa and settled in. I was employed
at the Jessica Point State School as an intervention tutor at that
stage, which was in Napranum, so, while we enrolled Sheridan
at Weipa North State School in town, Justice continued to attend
kindergarten at Napranum. The money from my position and
the continued sales of my artwork allowed me to save while we
lived off Danny’s wage.

For the first time since the girls were born we had our own
place, even if we didn’t own it. I got stuck into the front yard and
filled it with plants and several garden beds as well as tending a

Page 309

Fiona dancing in Vancouver, Canada,
during the Talking Stick Festival Tour,


Fiona with Sue Abbey and Matt Foley at the presentation of the David Unaipon Award
Ceremony, Brisbane Writer’s Festival 2004

Fiona with school children at Cape
Croker, Toronto, Canada, 2003

Page 310

Stef Furlong, Fiona and Mum at Fiona’s Graduation Ceremony, Cairns, 2003

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