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Aboriginal women: Introduction

The focus of the resources listed is materials written by or about Aboriginal women which relay the unique stories and experiences of Aboriginal women in South Australia.


Gladys Elphick. A brief biography and selected bibliography on the life of Gladys Elphick.

Irati wanta. Archived website of Senior Aboriginal women of Coober Pedy who oppose nuclear dumping on their country.

Lowitja O'Donoghue. A brief biography and selected bibliography on the life of Lowitja O'Donoghue.

Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women's Council

Oral Histories

Council of Aboriginal Women of South Australia Oral History Project, 2002-2003.

Interview with Joanne Willmot. Joanne talks of her involvement with the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement and the Women's Information Switchboard, 1994.

Interview with Mona Tur. Mona talks of starting work as a servant when she was ten years old and of her various work experiences, including her career as an interpreter and lecturer, 1988.

Interview with Shirley Peisley. Member of the Council of Aboriginal Women of SA in the mid 1960s, and active with the Federal Council for Aboriginal Affairs and Torres Strait Islanders, who campaigned for the 'Yes' vote in the 1967 Referendum, 2013-14.

Law-for-women Oral History Project. A series of interviews with Aboriginal women from Coober Pedy, looking at autonomy for women and the impact of colonialism, 2005.

Ngadjuri Oral Histories. 1998, 2000. OH 482/1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 are women.

Books and pamphlets

Ah Chee, Myra. Stony land spirit: a memoir, 2016.

Austin, Emily Munyungka. My young days, 2006.

Bell, Diane (ed). Listen to Ngarrindjeri women speaking = Kungun Ngarrindjeri miminar yunnan, 2008.

Brock, Peggy (ed). Words and silences : aboriginal women, politics and land, 2001.

Brock, Peggy (ed). Women, rites & sites : Aboriginal women's cultural knowledge, 1989.

Brodie, Veronica. My side of the bridge : the life story of Veronica Brodie, 2002.

Brown, Eileen Kampakuta. An Anangu-Aboriginal love story : my young life, 2003.

Burgoyne, Iris. Mirning : we are the whales : a Mirning-Kokatha woman recounts life before and after dispossession, 2000. Interviews conducted in preparation for the writing of this book are available on CD.

Eickelkamp, Ute. "Don't ask for stories ... " : the women from Ernabella and their art ..., 1999.

Forte, Margaret. Flight of an eagle : the dreaming of Ruby Hammond, 1995.

Gale, Fay (ed). We are bosses ourselves : the status and role of Aboriginal women today, 1983.

James, Diana. Painting the song : Kaltjiti artists of the sand dune country, 2009.

Kartinyeri, Doreen and Anderson, Sue. Doreen Kartinyeri : my Ngarrindjeri calling, 2008.

Lennon, Jessie. I'm the one that know this country! 2000.

McKenzie, Ruth. Molly Lennon's story: That's how it was, 1989.

McNamara, Natascha. ‘White man's law - its impact on South Australian Aboriginal women’ in Women's lives and the law : 100 years of progress and still going…, 1994.

Pring, Adele (ed). Women of the centre, 1990.

Rintoul, Stuart. Lowitja : the authorised biography of Lowitja O'Donoghue, 2020. 

Secret women's business : the Hindmarsh Island Affair, 1996.

Some Aboriginal women pathfinders : their difficulties and their achievements, 1980.

Survival in our own land: 'Aboriginal' experiences in 'South Australia' since 1836, 1988. Ch. 17 'Women'.

Watson, Irene. Looking at you looking at me : an aboriginal history of the south-east, 2002.

Watson, Tjunmutja Myra. Desert bride : tjukurpa palumpa wantikatinytja - the story she left us, 2010.

White, Isobel, Barwick, Diane and Meehan, Betty (eds). Fighters and singers : the lives of some Australian Aboriginal women, 1985.

Wonga, Audrey. Outback heart, 2010.

Wood, Jean with Arbon, Veronica. My stories, 2010.

Lorna Smith

Lorna Smith, Nepabunna, 1937. View more information about this image here.


Journeys from heartache to hope, 2008.

Journeys 2, 2008.

Lois O'Donoghue, 1994.

Sister, if you only knew, 1975.

Strong in the city: Anangu women in leadership project, 2011.

Periodical articles

Australian Feminist Studies. v. 16, no. 34, Mar 2001. Haskins, Victoria. 'On the doorstep: Aboriginal domestic service as a 'contact zone.'

Australian Historical Studies. v. 34, no. 121, Apr 2003. Paul, Mandy and Foster, Robert. 'Married to the land: land grants to Aboriginal women in South Australia 1848-1911.'

Cabbages and kings. v. 14, 1986. Jackson, Russ. The role played by Aboriginal women in South Australia, particularly among urban Aborigines, since 1945.'

Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia. v. 28, nos 1-2, 1990. Gara, Tom. 'The life of Ivaritji ('Princess Amelia') of the Adelaide tribe.'

To locate further journal articles, access the State Library's eResources.

Selected South Australian newspapers, published prior to 1955, have been digitised as part of the National Library of Australia’s Trove website.

Further newspaper articles may be identified by using the following, Newspaper index : references to Aborigines in Adelaide newspapers, 1836-1940, 1989.