Sally Morgan was born in the Perth suburb of Manning in 1951. Despite her disinterest in school (1) and the lack of appreciation of her artistic talents, she completed secondary school and went on to the University of Western Australia. She gained a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology and completed post-graduate diplomas in Counselling and Computing and Library Studies. While at the University she married Paul Morgan and had three children. Prompted by the discovery of her Aboriginality she began writing her life story and the life stories of her uncle, Arthur Corunna, her mother, Gladys Corunna, and her grandmother, Daisy Corunna, stories which were published as My Place in 1987. The book was reprinted three times that year and the mass paperback edition four times in 1988 and 1989. Morgan has also published numerous childrens stories, an illustrated version of My Place, another novel, Wanamurraganya: The Story of Jack McPhee and a number of plays. Despite her success, Morgan has become disillusioned with writing and has turned instead to art. Her paintings hang in the National Gallery of Australia, the Robert Holmes a Court Collection and many other public and private collections. Her art has also been exhibited in many countries, including the United States. Sally Morgan has received many awards, including the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission Award for Literature in 1987 and the Western Australian Citizen of the Year Award for Arts, Literature and Culture in 1989.
Her work is featured on the cover of the edition being used for the South Dakota Reading Series. The publisher offers this explanation of the painting: "The white house in the lower lefthand side of the cover illustration of My Place, represents Corunna Downs Station (Ranch) where Sally's grandmother, Daisy Corunna lived. Following the arrows you see the boat "The Mindaroo" which was used to take Gladys, Daisy's half caste daughter away to Parkerville Children's Home, the next building in the painting. The baby being nursed and the child in the upper right show Gladys growing up. The next section is Daisy and Gladys at Ivanhoe (where Daisy now worked). Then we see Gladys with a soldier, her future husband, Bill Milroy, Sally's father. The group in the lower right hand corner include Nan, Gladys and her children. One of them is obviously Sally. The las image of the bird is when Nan (Daisy) died. The arrows continue back to Corunna Downs depicting Sally's journey back to the family home." (Graeme Morrison, Penguin Australia)
Sally Morgan, My Place ( 1987)
My Place was first published in 1987, one year before Australia's Bicentennial celebrations. For many Aboriginal people the celebration of Captain Phillip and the First Fleet's arrival at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 as the originary moment of the founding of the nation could only be an irrelevant insult. The arrival of the First Fleet may have been a momentous event in white history, but Aboriginal...