1 Throughout the text of this book I use pseudonyms to refer to my interlocu-
tors. In a few instances where individuals are highly public figures, I retain their
2 Aboriginal Australia is filled with institutions, and acronyms are a local way of
keeping track of the many Indigenous and governmental corporations. teabba
is the first of many I will introduce in this book, and is spoken as “Tee-ba.” I have
retained these orga nizational names in the text and provide a glossary of acro-
nyms to assist readers as they move through the chapters to follow.
3 Yidaki is the term in a number of Arnhem Land languages for what is called in
Australian En glish a didgeridoo.
4 Mauboy’s career took a positive turn the following year when she finished as the
runner-up in the popu lar tele vision program Australian Idol. Her initial audition
for the program was an a capella rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Noth-
ing,” sung outdoors for a panel of celebrity judges. The stylization of her voice
had radically shifted as the country sounds of the previous year— characterized
by the cry break and the flat twang—were supplanted by a broad, controlled vi-
brato and melismatic flourishes.
5 For analyses that reflect on the interanimation of Aboriginal activism with
broader concerns around cultural imperialism see Ginsburg 1994, 1995, 1997 and
Michaels 1994; cf. Langton 1993.
1 Papua New Guinea was governed by Australia from 1902 until its in de pendence