Reconciliation dialogues: Kathleen Mary Fallon's Paydirt, and narratives of mothering

Jane Messer, Victoria Brookman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper rereads Kathleen Mary Fallon’s 2007 text, Paydirt in the context of the continued separations of indigenous Australian children from their families and communities. Paydirt’s distinctive contribution is its representation of white and indigenous Australian mothering in the context of the Stolen Generations. While the voice of the child is a key presence in the text, just as the voices of children have been in national enquiries, such as the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, the text is unusual in that it also represents the experience of the mothers. The text figures that its readers will be both indigenous and non-indigenous, subverting the assumption of ‘literary whiteness’ embedded in much Australian writing by writers whose imagined audiences are non-indigenous. It engages in a form of collaborative storytelling that contributes to reconciliation dialogues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian humanities review
Issue number63
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Mothering
  • Stolen Generations
  • Foster mothering
  • Australian literature
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

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