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Exploring colonial trauma through creative writing: The experience of Aboriginal Australians.

Edmondson, Wendy (2019) Exploring colonial trauma through creative writing: The experience of Aboriginal Australians. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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This project examines colonial trauma and its ongoing impacts on the lives of colonised peoples. It aims to more fully understand the legacies of colonial suffering, particularly in settler societies where the descendants of the original settlers have established a permanent presence. My research not only exposes current and transgenerational trauma but also examines the ways in which such pain may be managed or resolved by drawing on Indigenous resilience, resistance and healing techniques, particularly as they manifest through the practices of writing. A review of colonialism, trauma and Aboriginal literature has revealed that Aboriginal writing is a potent tool for decolonising, centering indigenous voices, reclaiming identity and claiming a representational space in the literary field.

There has been limited work that has examined the impacts of transgenerational trauma in relation to colonised people, particularly in the Australian context, and so this project contributes new knowledge to this field. It explores the ways in which creative writing by colonised peoples be utilised to reveal the complexity of their lives and experiences, thus working as both a vehicle for storytelling and for healing.

This dissertation is in two parts. A thesis and a work of creative writing. My story Gugurdung, based loosely on biographical material from six generations of my family, creatively highlights the manifestation and impacts of transgenerational trauma over time and across generations. This work of creative writing demonstrates the power of indigenous truth-telling and emancipation of Indigenous counter-narratives, and as such it works to unite both creative and analytical elements of this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Business
Notes: Research Masters with Training
Supervisor(s): Grehan, Helena, Bennett, Rebecca and Kadmos, Helena
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