In the years before 1788 the land on which we live on today was populated solely by the Indigenous people of Australia, 230 years later Australia is an extremely multicultural country with over 300 languages being spoke in 2017. 230 years later Australian has developed its own identity, but that doesn’t mean that we forget the heritage that existed so many years ago. In today’s society people are disinterested and ignorant to the Indigenous people of Australia and how they lived before invasion by the western world. The anthology should include Whole Lot by Ellen Van Neerven and Desolation by Jack Davis as these poems represent the stories, heritage and lifestyle of the traditional peoples as well as honouring the connection these individuals have to the land upon which we live. These poems display the original Australian identity of the Indigenous that is too often forgotten by society and show that we need to acknowledge the past, but we can still move forward.
Author of Whole Lot, Ellen Van Neerven is an award-winning Indigenous Australian writer and poet as well as a, proud Mununjali woman from the Yugambeh language group of South East Queensland. The poem frequently mentions the themes of nature, food, and Dreamtime cosmology through the references of the words ‘family, earth, dingo, eagle’. In the poem Neerven explicitly states that this “country spread open”: “don’t forget it / I’m tracing it to remember.” By stating this, Neerven has implicitly interwoven a nation wide public issue with her own personal reflection. In doing this she has created a theme within her poem that addresses the pas as well as the future.