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Yamatji woman Charmaine Papertalk Green releases new book and completes Doctor of Philosophy PhD at UWA

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
WA Centre for Rural Health of the University of Western Australia research fellow Dr Charmaine Papertalk Green.
Camera IconWA Centre for Rural Health of the University of Western Australia research fellow Dr Charmaine Papertalk Green. Credit: WACRH

A local First Nations author and academic has been recognised for completing a Doctor of Philosophy, just when her recently finished poetry novel is set to be published.

Charmaine Papertalk Green focused on Yamatji knowledge throughout her four year thesis called Aboriginal Female Autoethnography: Ngatha Wangga (I Talk) Little Yamaji woman: Big Yamaji Narratives.

The autoethnography focused on examining how the language group was taught, produced, transmitted and exchanged throughout the Greater Geraldton region. The thesis included her personal experience growing up in Mullewa and the findings will be presented to public community forms in Geraldton and Mullewa.

Dr Green is a Wajarri, Badimaya and Wilunyu woman of the Yamatji Nation of the Mid West.

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Towards the end of her thesis, she discovered young First Nations peoples’ learning of culture could be expanded, and became heavily involved in The Ilgarijiri Project — a 2009 collaboration between Aboriginal artists and radio astronomers.

Her passion for language and culture is shown in her poetry, winning the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry for her book Nganajungu Yagu. The book is inspired by letters exchanged between Dr Green and her mother in 1978-79, leaving her language group to move to an Aboriginal girls’ hostel in Bentley, Perth.

Dr Green’s recently completed book, Art, is a collaboration of ekphrastic poetry with John Kinsella, describing artwork in vivid detail.

In a dynamic exchange, Green and Kinsella created ekphrastic poetry and conversations in response to the late Nyoongar artist Shane Pickett’s artworks.

WA Centre for Rural Health director Dr Sandra Thompson congratulated Dr Green on her recent success after immense work, sacrifice and discipline to complete the PhD.

“We have already appreciated the great learning and wisdom that Charmaine has shared across her doctoral journey,” she said.

Art will be released Tuesday, November 1 at Magabala Books.

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