"When The Aboriginal Mother
was published as sheet music in 1842, set to
music by the composer Isaac Nathan, he declared “it ought to be on the
pianoforte of every lady in the colony”.
Dunlop often wrote about the Irish diaspora in poems which were alternatively
nostalgic and political. But she also brought her knowledge of the violence and
divisiveness of colonisation, religion and ethnicity to her writing on
Her optimistic vision for Australian poetry encouraged colonial readers to be
attentive to their environment and to recognise Indigenous culture. This
reputation for sympathising with Indigenous people — and her husband’s
arguments with settlers in Penrith about the treatment of Catholic convicts —
were widely criticised in the press.
This affected David’s career as police magistrate and Aboriginal Protector: he
was soon moved to a remote location. There, too, local landholders campaigned
against his appointment and undermined his authority."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics