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Double Native
by

Double Native is a powerful and candid memoir that offers a rare insight into the burgeoning years of the contemporary Indigenous dance movement and what it means to straddle two cultures.

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A moving memoir about living across two cultures.

Growing up ‘on country’ on the west coast of Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula in the 1970s and ’80s, Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung had an idyllic traditional life. At the age of 16, she decided to pursue her dream of performing and moved to Sydney to attend the NAISDA Dance College. There she studied with the legendary Page brothers before they founded Bangarra Dance Theatre and met her future husband and father of her three daughters.

But the missing piece of her life was her father. As a young woman, she finds her father and carves out a fragile relationship with him. This inspires her to better understand her Austrian ancestry and how it meshes with her Indigenous identity.

Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung is the model of a modern woman: mother and professional; performer and creator; teacher and student, urban dweller and remote community inhabitant. As such she shares the joys and challenges that come with growing up in a divided community and carving out a career as a solo parent.

Double Native is a powerful and candid memoir that offers a rare insight into the burgeoning years of the contemporary Indigenous dance movement and what it means to straddle two cultures.

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Fiona Doyle

Fiona Doyle is the daughter of a Mbaiwum Women and a father of Austrian origin. She was born Maryann Fiona George on the 2nd January, 1969 on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.

Fiona, who writes under the Aboriginal name Oochunyung currently resides in Brisbane with her husband Danny and three daughters. A graduate of NAISDA, Fiona has incorporated dance, drama and poetry in her artistic expression with the intent to share, educate and proclaim the Indigenous heartbeat of her People.

Although Whispers of this Wik Women is her first published book, Fiona has written two children’s books titled Sandbeach Girl and Looking for Yams.

Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung

Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung, daughter of a Mbaiwum woman and a father of Austrian origin, was raised by her grandparents 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, Whispers of this Wik Woman, about her grandmother, Jean George Awumpan, Alngith Wikway and Wik Elder, 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 two other works for the stage, A Bastard’s Tale and Blak Velvet, and also published children’s books, including On Country: Stories of Nyrlotte (2006) and Jindah Murray – Wind Dancer (2011).

Fiona is currently studying for a Master of Education and working with Indigenous girls at Clayfield College. She lives in Brisbane with her three daughters.

Previously published with UQP as Fiona Doyle