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Transcript of Jack Davis
Jack Davis was born in Perth and lived from 11th of March 1917 – 17th of March 2000 He was an Aboriginal activist, play writer, actor and poet
• The aboriginal culture influences the way that Jack Davis connects with the land.
• The way he relates to the white citizens.
• The way he speaks about the interaction between the races.
Experiences of employment
Jack followed his parent’s advice and left school in 1932, when he was fourteen. The Chief Protector of the Aborigines in Western Australian at that time, Mr A. O. Neville, offered to teach Jack and his brother Harold farming skills at the Moore River Native Settlement. Bill Davis was reluctant to send his sons away, but eventually agreed because there was no employment in Yarloop during the Great Depression.
Jack and Harold were made to work in the field with the other men from Moore River, but received little education in agriculture. His favourite job was killing noxious palms with crowbars.
Jack and Harold were relieved to return to Yarloop at the request of the Aboriginal Department in Perth. They were still unable to find work, so the boys spent most of their spare time hunting and searching for bush honey.
Jack and his brothers left Yarloop after their father died in a hunting accident. Jack worked as a stockman in Gascoyne throughout the Second World War, and later became a poet.
Jack Davis has a very close relationship to the land and it has influenced many of his poems. He writes about the importance of the land to his people, e.g. in “The first born” he talks about how the Aboriginals were formed out of the dust and how the land was created in the dream time. He explains through his poems that the aboriginals are the cares for the land and how that right has been taken away from his people. He also talks about the white man not understanding the land and how the colonization has affected the aboriginals as well as the land. He gives meaning to the land and overall connects the land to people through his poetry.