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Doris Pilkington Garimara

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Full Name  Nugi Garimara
Role  Author
Cause of death  Ovarian cancer
Parents  Molly Craig

Other names  Doris Pilkington
Movies  Rabbit-Proof Fence
Name  Doris Garimara
Siblings  Annabelle Garimara
Doris Pilkington Garimara Doris Pilkington Garimara obituary 39Rabbit ProofFence
Born  c. 1 July 1937Balfour Downs Station, Western Australia
Occupation  Indigenous Australian writer and nurse
Died  April 10, 2014, Perth, Australia
Books  Follow the Rabbit‑Proof Fence, Under the wintamarra tree, Home to Mother, Caprice - a stockman's daughter
Similar People  Everlyn Sampi, Phillip Noyce, Christine Olsen, Jennifer Bassett, John Winter

Reaction to Colonization

Doris Pilkington Garimara (born Nugi Garimara; c. 1 July 1937 – 10 April 2014), also known as Doris Pilkington, was an Australian author. She was best known for her 1996 book Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, a story of three Aboriginal girls, among them Pilkington's mother, Molly Craig, who escaped from the Moore River Native Settlement in Western Australia and travelled 2,414km (1,500 miles) for nine weeks to return to their family.


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Pilkington was born at Balfour Downs Station, near the north Western Australian settlement of Jigalong. Her mother, Molly, named her Nugi Garimara, but she was called Doris after Molly's employer at the station, Mary Dunnet, who thought Nugi was "a stupid name". As her birth was unregistered, her birth date was recorded as 1 July 1937 by the Department of Native Affairs. She was taken from her mother to be raised at the Moore River mission when she was three and a half years old. Her sister, Annabelle, was also taken when she was two years old, but has not acknowledged Craig or Pilkington since she was abducted.


Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence is considered a powerful example of the mistreatments endured by the Stolen Generations. The book was made into an internationally successful film in 2002, directed by Phillip Noyce. Her follow-up book, Under the Wintamarra Tree, details her own life at Moore River and at the Roelands Native Mission and how she managed to escape by enrolling in a nursing school. Home to Mother is her children's edition of Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence. In the four books, Caprice, a Stockman's Daughter, Follow the Rabbit-proof Fence, Home to Mother, and Under the Wintamarra Tree, Pilkington documented three generations of women in her family.

In 1990 Pilkington's book Caprice: A Stockman's Daughter the first of the trilogy, won the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, Unpublished Indigenous Writer – The David Unaipon Award. She was appointed co-patron of Australia's State and Federal Sorry Day committee’s Journey of Healing in 2002. In May 2008 she was awarded the $50,000 Red Ochre Award which is made to an indigenous artist for their outstanding, lifelong contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts at home and abroad.


Doris Pilkington Garimara died of ovarian cancer at age 76 on 10 April 2014 in Perth, Western Australia.


Doris Pilkington Garimara Wikipedia

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