Well, after many years of procrastinating I have finally published the biography of my dad, “He Speaks Our Language”. My Dad, Wilf Douglas, passed away more than 10 years ago and prior to that I asked his permission to write his story, so it has been a long time coming. We had a fantastic time yesterday with many people from all walks of life coming together to honour dad’s life. It was particularly nice that my brother John from Tasmania was the MC for the event.
The highlight for me was to interview Noongar elder, Myrtle Yarran (pictured left, above) and Wongi elder, Laurel Cooper from Kalgoorlie. Amongst other things the book tells the story about how Myrtle’s dad, Bob Mead taught my dad his first Noongar words nearly 80 years ago. Dad went on from that humble beginning on a dusty track at Badjaling in Western Australia’s wheatbelt to play a significant role in preserving Aboriginal languages in various parts of Australia.
Keith Truscott the Pastor of the Mt Zion Aussie Indigenous Church in Perth spoke about how Dad had taught him Pitjantjatjara and introduced him to his cultural roots, and the first Aboriginal member of the House of Representatives, Federal Member for Hasluck, Ken Wyatt AM officially launched the book.
It’s been a great privilege to be able to write this book and tell a story that has been waiting to be told.