Women and Adversity: Jenni Barnett
Australian Historical Novelist, Part I
I met Australian native Jenni Barnett on a cruise to the Panama Canal. Her personal story as well as her series, Dreamtime Mysteries, are fascinating enough to break into two posts at my Women and Adversity blog.
In an email Jenni says she was raised and educated in South Australia by a British mother and a father who was a fifth generation descendent of settlers who arrived in Adelaide, Australia in 1843.
I am fortunate to have access to a wealth of history and photographs dating back to (my parents) arrival in the country. I am a died-in-the-wool Aussie. I love our sunburnt country and the smell of the bush, the eucalyptus gums and the cackling Kookaburras, along with our unique marsupials and a mecca of birdlife, their species being increasingly added to the endangered list.
I also love to dream about a bygone era. To think that all those years ago, life carried on in a very natural and peaceful way in the land we now call Australia. The indigenous people of this land had no source of transport other than their feet, and with no cloven-hooved animals to harness for the purpose of transport, they really had no reason to invent a wheel.
Yet they managed to survive in this land for an estimated 70,000 years prior to the arrival of our European ancestors, without damaging their environment and apparently living a peaceful life, respecting their territorial neighbors without intrusion or greed.
I first became interested in researching their history and culture whilst studying traditional western and Chinese medicine and acupuncture. I also became aware of their protective approach to sharing their traditional knowledge, culture and dreamtime stories with the western world.
I was fortunate to have befriended some indigenous women from several local communities in my district, and when I presented my first draft of Native Companions for their approval, I was given a ream of information and corrections, and I was made very aware that this book would need to be extremely politically correct. My main purpose for writing Native Companions was to enlighten white Australians, who live in their own little circle, to understand and respect this often-undermined minority group.
August 22 – Jenni Barnett, Australian Historical Novelist, Part II