“Oodgeroo’s poem presents the reader with an exploration of the importance of learning from experience” Thesis statement:
Oodgeroo’s poems imply the significant impact of the post colonisation reviewing Australia’s historical and social context. Oodgeroo’s poem’s “The Past” and “Municipal Gum” portrays the inhumane experience of the Aboriginal people at the hands of the colonisers and educates the audience to reflect Australia’s true identity and its history. Oodgeroo presents the importance of the inextricable link between the past and the present, and further illustrates the significance of the ancient culture of the indigenous aboriginals. The Municipal Gum displays the isolation, confinement, and brutal treatment of the Native Aboriginals and questions the value system of the society. Therefore, Oodgeroo demonstrates the brutal treatment of the aboriginals by allowing the audience to personally connect with her experiences.
‘The Past’ by Oodgeroo’s Noonuccal explores the impact of the trauma experienced by Indigenous Australians post-settlement, however, asserts the inseparable connection the past continues to have in the present day. The use of present tense reflects the ongoing experiences of connecting to her past, representing the vitality of tribal memories, becoming a distinct memory in her present day life, “let no one say the past is dead, the past is all about us and within.” She has recalled her present as a cage as barrier, however she re-imagines a world with the strong connection with the nature and the spirituality “no walls over me, the stars over me, the tall surrounding tress that stir in the wind”. The reference to the barriers of contemporary society is juxtaposed against the imagery of the freedom and connection experienced in her ancient culture. Oodgroo recognises the insignificance of the present when juxtaposed with the extent of her ancient culture, “now is so small a part of time, so small a part of all the race years that have moulded me” This little now this accidental present” diminishes the present over the ancient past, through the use of adjectives. Spiritual allusion is also employed to represent her ongoing and deep connection of the dreamtime “I fall into dream: I am