Aboriginal poet, photographer, activist, scholar and all-round comedian Lisa Bellear died in her sleep at home last week, of as-yet-unknown causes.
Lisa was a Goernpil/Noonuccal woman from Stradbroke Island in Queensland, living and working in Melbourne. She was 45.
She was one of the funniest people I've ever met. She was a wonderful advocate for Aboriginal causes. She was outspoken, energetic, brave, and a joy to be around.
Here's a poem of Lisa's that I've borrowed from scepticlawyer's blog.
Hanover Street Brunswick 3056
(On a bright sunny afternoon)
Cruisin' - on my way with a keen
sense of purpose: milk (full cream),
toasting bread, cigarettes, papers
...a woman's day
Sensor rays connect with a thirty
centimetre 'white' child who sits
joyously on a three-wheeled
I feel safe enough to share
As we check each other over
with carefree knowing smiles -
his parents raise their heads
through the pruned rose bush
In twenty years time will
he remember this warrior woman?
For more on Lisa, in an Age article from two years ago, go here.