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Author image courtesy Fremantle Press
Sally Morgan Sally Morgan i(A35035 works by) (birth name: Sally Milroy) (a.k.a. Sally Jane Morgan)
Born: Established: 1951 Perth, Western Australia, ;
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Palku / Palyku
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Sally Morgan's parents were William Joseph (a plumber) and Gladys Milroy. After her father's death, Morgan and her four siblings were raised by her mother and grandmother. Having been told that they were of Indian background, she discovered in her teens that the family had "part"-Aboriginal ancestry from her mother's and grandmother's side. This discovery motivated her later research into her family's history and culminated in the writing of her autobiographical work, My Place, which integrates the life stories of her mother (Gladys Milroy), her grandmother (Daisy Corunna), and her grandmother's brother (Arthur Corunna). She married Paul Morgan (a teacher) in 1972. In 1974, she completed her BA at the University of Western Australia, majoring in psychology, and continued with postgraduate diplomas in Counselling Psychology, Computing and Library Studies at the Western Australian Institute of Technology.

My Place, published in 1987, immediately became a best-seller, regarded as a revelation for white readers into the plight of Aboriginal people. However, the book's extraordinary success has also drawn some criticism, from white and Aboriginal voices, raising questions of authenticity and the construction of Aboriginality, as its author had not experienced life in a 'typical' Aboriginal community. Yet the book has become an 'Australian classic', with more than half a million copies sold in Australia to date. It has been translated into several foreign languages. Morgan has also gained a considerable international reputation as an artist, and has written and illustrated children's books. The Art of Sally Morgan was published in 1996.

Morgan has won numerous awards and prizes, among them the Human Rights Award for her 1989 biography of an Aboriginal relative, Jack McPhee, Wanamurraganya. In 1997, she was appointed Director of the University of Western Australia Centre for Indigenous Art and History. She has also held the positions of Chair of Aboriginal Literature Committee and membership of the Literature Board of Australia Council. Morgan worked at the School of Indigenous Studies (University of Western Australia) in the area of oral history. In a 2004 interview, she said that she sees writing as

a vehicle to give people a voice, for people to be heard, a vehicle that can tell our family stories and give a deeper balance and insight into the past as well as the present. I have been helping people to tell their stories. The last eight years I have been working with other Indigenous people and have been doing editorial work for oral history projects, which have been published as community resources. (Source: Interview with Blanch Lake, Aboriginal Information and Liaison Officer, Arts Law)

She continues to write and illustrate children's books, for which she has won or been shortlisted for a wide range of awards.

Sally Morgan is the mother of Ambelin Kwaymullina, Blaze Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, with whom she has co-written a number of works.


Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Girls Can Fly Broome : Magabala Books , 2020 18588398 2020 single work prose

'Girls can do anything
Who says girls can't fly?
Stretch out your arms
Aim for your dreams 
Believe in your wings 
Breathe in the sky
Fly high

'Who says girls can't fly? 

'Girls Can Fly is an inspirational, young teen book from award-winning Aboriginal writer and artist Sally Morgan and her equally talented daughter Ambelin. Together they have written short, poignant sayings full of advice that comes from their life experiences. Mother and daughter have written a beautiful, thoughtful and inspiring book. An early draft of the manuscript was given to the participants of the Kimberley and Pilbara Girls program and their feedback and suggestions were taken in. An acknowledgement, information about and photographs of the girls are featured at the back of the book.'  (Publication summary)

2020 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Indigenous Children
2020 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Eight to 10 Years
y separately published work icon Little Bird's Day Broome : Magabala Books , 2019 15403012 2019 single work picture book children's

'A simple, universal story of a day in the life of Little Bird as she sings the world alive, flies with Cloud, travels with Wind, nestles with Moon and dreams of flying among the stars. Sally’s beautiful words and Johnny’s sensitive artwork combine to make this a beautiful, distinctive publication with global appeal. Johnny infuses his illustrations with his fine-art aesthetic, his traditional motifs and a quirky sense of humour.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 shortlisted CBCA Book of the Year Awards Crichton Award for Debut Illustrator
2020 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Small Publishers' Children's Book of the Year
2020 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book
y separately published work icon Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean-Up Broome : Magabala Books , 2018 12958140 2018 single work picture book children's

'An environmental tale for Early Childhood and Lower Primary readers that shows how animals are affected by rubbish left in their habitat by humans. Ambelin Kwaymullina’s illustrations are an explosion of colour and cleverly show the perils faced by our native animals.

'When the animals work as a team to come up with ways to look after the bush, they decide to ask the humans to REDUCE, RECYCLE and use RUBBISH BINS. But it is Benny Bungarra who has the bright idea of a BIG BUSH CLEAN-UP so the animals can also help look after the bush.' (Publication summary)

2018 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Best Book for Language Development – Indigenous Children

Known archival holdings

Albinski 162
National Library of Australia (ACT)
Last amended 27 May 2021 12:30:10
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