Olga Eunice Reeves Wondunna

Female 1920 - 2003  (83 years)


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  • Name Olga Eunice Reeves Wondunna 
    Born 27 Mar 1920  Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Birth registration: Olga Eunice Wondunna
      Birth date: 27/03/1920
      Mother's name: Ethel Marrian Gribble Reeves
      Father/parent's name: Fred
      Registration details: 1920/C/5699
      (Queensland Birth Index 1829-1922)


      Olga Miller

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Olga Miller
      Born Olga Eunice Wondunna

      March 27, 1920[1]
      Maryborough, Queensland
      Died August 2003 (aged 83)
      Maryborough, Queensland
      Occupation Historian, artist, author and Aboriginal elder

      Olga Eunice Miller (née Wondunna, later Reeves; 27 March 1920 ? August 2003), often known as Aunty (or Auntie) Olga[2] or by her traditional name Wandi, was an Australian historian, artist, author and Aboriginal elder of the Butchulla people. She often acted as an advocate for K'gari (Fraser Island) and Butchulla issues, and illustrated The Legends of Moonie Jarl, the first known Australian Aboriginal?written children's book to be published. In 2002 she was named a Queensland Great.

      Early and personal life

      The youngest of seven siblings, Miller was born Olga Eunice Wondunna on 27 March 1920 in Maryborough, Queensland to mother Ethel Marion Reeves (née Gribble) and father Frederick Wondunna. Her parents' relationship, that of an Indigenous man and a white woman, was deeply controversial in its time and opposed by Ethel's brother Ernest Gribble in particular.[3]

      Olga changed her surname from Wondunna to Reeves, before marrying Ronald Richard Miller on 1 June 1940 and taking his name.[4]

      She was a member of the Butchulla people, of whom her paternal grandfather Willie Wondunna was an important leader and her son Glen is now an elder. Her maternal grandfather, meanwhile, was 19th-century English-born missionary J. B. Gribble,[5]:?33? well known for his work with Indigenous Australians.

      Her grandniece Fiona Foley is an artist and founding member of the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative.

      Career

      Miller worked in various media, writing for school textbooks, animated films and newspapers; presenting on radio; and illustrating children's stories. In 1964, she illustrated The Legends of Moonie Jarl, written by her brother Wilf Reeves, which is the first known published children's book authored by an Aboriginal Australian. She illustrated it under her traditional Butchulla name, Wandi, which means "wild duck".

      Outside of her media work, she was an activist for K'gari (Fraser Island) issues, often consulted by developers when they wished to build there. Describing her advocacy, Miller said she "[made] a nuisance of [herself]", but that she was "not interested in money? just [looking] after the land".[5]:?31?

      She was the Caboonya (keeper of records) of the Butchulla people, a role given to her by her grandfather. Well-versed in Aboriginal knowledge and a respected historian, she acted as a consultant on Indigenous issues and history throughout her life. According to the Queensland Government, she "spent her time educating non-Indigenous Australians about pre-European history and Aboriginals on their own cultural background"

      Honours

      Miller received a Centenary Medal for "services to reconciliation and the preservation of Aboriginal history" on New Year's Day 2001,[7] and in 2002 was named a Queensland Great,[6] an honour which "recognises the efforts and achievements of remarkable individuals... for their invaluable contribution to the history and development of [the] state".[8]

      In April 2003, she was awarded an honorary fellowship by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), on whose Fraser Coast campus she had helped establish Buallum Jarl-Bah, a centre for Indigenous learning

      Death and legacy

      Miller died in August 2003 in Maryborough. Her death was acknowledged by member for Maryborough Chris Foley on the floor of Queensland parliament.[10]

      USQ dedicated a garden on its Fraser Coast campus to her in December 2009, the Olga Miller Memorial Garden.[11] Both the garden and Buallam Jarl-Bah have remained since the campus' transfer to the University of the Sunshine Coast.

      Bibliography

      The Legends of Moonie Jarl: 1964 (illustrated; written by Wilf Reeves)
      Fraser Island Legends: 1993
      Strings and Things from Long Ago: 1999
      The Legend of Mount Bauple: 2000
      Wook-Koo: 2001
      Buallum and Other Stories: 2002


      A collaboration between The University of Melbourne and The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW)

      Miller, Olga Eunice (1920 - 2003)
      Born 27 March 1920, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia
      Died August 2003, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia
      Occupation Community worker, Environmentalist, Illustrator, Storyteller and Writer
      Alternative Names
      "Aunty Olga" Wandi (wild duck)

      Summary

      Olga Miller was a direct descendant and Elder of the Butchulla people of Fraser Island. She was an Aboriginal historian who wrote about and taught Aboriginal culture for over 40 years.

      The entry was written in consultation with family member

      Olga was the youngest of seven children. Her father was a full blood Aborigine of the Butchulla people of Fraser Island and her grandfather, Willie Wondunna, was head of the Butchulla people. She spent her early life on Fraser Island but the family eventually moved to Maryborough for their children's education.

      The Legends of Moonie Jarl (1964) was written by Olga's brother, Wilfred Reeves, while Olga was responsible for the illustrations in the book. Olga's other works include , Fraser Island Legends (1993), How the Water Got to the Plains (1997), Strings and Things from Long Ago and The Legend of Mount Bauple (2000). She published articles for school text books, wrote stories for animated films (Tree Duck, Butterfly, How the Water Got to the Plains, Why the Kookaburra Laughs) and wrote newspaper columns for the Maryborough Chronicle. Her work also included the Wide Bay Television presentations Legends of Our Land and Spotlight and presentations on Radio Maryborough (Legends of Our Land and This was our Town).

      "Aunty" Olga effectively established herself as a one woman lobby group for the well-being of Fraser Island. Politicians, developers, tourism operators and the National Parks and Wildlife Service all consulted her before doing anything which affected the Island's environment. She sat on boards and committees and kept a sharp eye on everything that happened there. She interpreted her protective role not in terms of possession but as a duty of care, a promise she had to keep to her grandfather and her people.

      Olga's chief concern was to establish more protection for Fraser Island by enforcing the rules about access to vulnerable or forbidden places, speed limits and environmental damage. She saw the need to preserve the middens and other significant relics from the destructive consequences of mass tourism. Her wish and her challenge were to share the extraordinary beauty of the island with the world without changing its fragile face.

      The University of Southern Queensland (Fraser Coast Campus) established the Olga Miller Memorial book bursary in memory of Auntie Olga Miller. At least three bursaries are awarded annually and are available to Indigenous undergraduate students from the Fraser Coast Campus. Two bursaries are awarded to undergraduate students and one bursary is awarded to a Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) or Indigenous Higher Education Pathways Program (IHEPP) student. At the end of 2008, the Olga Miller memorial garden was developed in the immediate surrounds of the newly constructed C block, at the Fraser Coast campus of the University of Southern Queensland.

      The entry was written in consultation with family members.

      Sources used to compile this entry: Maryborough City Council, Recognition for Maryborough's Achievers, Maryborough, 2000; Snow-McLean, Gus, Author elder awarded honorary degree, USQ News, University of Southern Queensland, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, 2003.

      WikiMili
      Last updated June 15, 2021
      Olga Eunice Miller ( née Wondunna, later Reeves; 27 March 1920 August 2003), often known as Aunty (or Auntie) Olga [2] or by her traditional name Wandi, was an Australian historian, artist, author and Aboriginal elder of the Butchulla people. She often acted as an advocate for K'gari (Fraser Island) and Butchulla issues, and illustrated The Legends of Moonie Jarl, the first known Australian Aboriginal?written children's book to be published. In 2002 she was named a Queensland Great.
      Early and personal life
      The youngest of seven siblings, Miller was born Olga Eunice Wondunna on 27 March 1920 in Maryborough, Queensland to mother Ethel Marion Reeves ( née Gribble) and father Frederick Wondunna. Her parents' relationship, that of an Indigenous man and a white woman, was deeply controversial in its time and opposed by Ethel's brother Ernest Gribble in particular. [3]
      Olga changed her surname from Wondunna to Reeves, before marrying Ronald Richard Miller on 1 June 1940 and taking his name. [4]
      She was a member of the Butchulla people, of whom her paternal grandfather Willie Wondunna was an important leader and her son Glen is now an elder. Her maternal grandfather, meanwhile, was 19th-century English-born missionary J. B. Gribble, [5] :33 well known for his work with Indigenous Australians.
      Her grandniece Fiona Foley is an artist and founding member of the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative.
      Career
      Miller worked in various media, writing for school textbooks, animated films and newspapers; presenting on radio; and illustrating children's stories. In 1964, she illustrated The Legends of Moonie Jarl, written by her brother Wilf Reeves, which is the first known published children's book authored by an Aboriginal Australian. She illustrated it under her traditional Butchulla name, Wandi, which means "wild duck".
      Outside of her media work, she was an activist for K'gari (Fraser Island) issues, often consulted by developers when they wished to build there. Describing her advocacy, Miller said she "[made] a nuisance of [herself]", but that she was "not interested in money? just [looking] after the land". [5] :31
      She was the Caboonya (keeper of records) of the Butchulla people, a role given to her by her grandfather. Well-versed in Aboriginal knowledge and a respected historian, she acted as a consultant on Indigenous issues and history throughout her life. According to the Queensland Government, she "spent her time educating non-Indigenous Australians about pre-European history and Aboriginals on their own cultural background". [6]
      Honours
      Miller received a Centenary Medal for "services to reconciliation and the preservation of Aboriginal history" on New Year's Day 2001, [7] and in 2002 was named a Queensland Great, [6] an honour which "recognises the efforts and achievements of remarkable individuals... for their invaluable contribution to the history and development of [the] state". [8]
      In April 2003, she was awarded an honorary fellowship by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), on whose Fraser Coast campus she had helped establish Buallum Jarl-Bah, a centre for Indigenous learning. [9]

      Death and legacy

      A plaque dedicated to Miller in Maryborough
      Miller died in August 2003 in Maryborough. Her death was acknowledged by member for Maryborough Chris Foley on the floor of Queensland parliament. [10]
      USQ dedicated a garden on its Fraser Coast campus to her in December 2009, the Olga Miller Memorial Garden. [11] Both the garden and Buallam Jarl-Bah have remained since the campus' transfer to the University of the Sunshine Coast.
      Bibliography
      The Legends of Moonie Jarl: 1964 (illustrated; written by Wilf Reeves)
      Fraser Island Legends: 1993
      Strings and Things from Long Ago: 1999
      The Legend of Mount Bauple: 2000

    Gender Female 
    Queensland Electoral Roll 1963  "Kalulah", Saltwater Creek Rd. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Queensland electoral roll 1963
    Subdivision of Maryborough
    Miller. Olga Eunice, "Kalulah" Saltwater Creek Rd., home duties
    Miller, Ronald Richard, "Kalulah", Saltwater Creek Rd., railway employee
     
    Queensland Electoral Roll 1968  25 Mary St., Granville Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Queensland electoral Roll 1968
    Subdivision of Howard
    Queensland electoral Roll 1972
    Miller. Olga Eunice, 25 Mary St., Granville, home duties
    Miller, Ronald Richard, 25 Mary St., Granville, labourer
     
    Queensland Electoral Roll 1972  Caravan Park, Moura Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Queensland Electoral Roll 1972
    Subdivision of Banana
    Miller. Olga Eunice, Caravan Park, Moura, home duties
    Miller, Ronald Richard, Caravan Park, Moura, miner
     
    Died 28 Aug 2003  Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Surname: MILLER
      Given Names: Olga Eunice (Aunty)
      Death Notice: 28 AUG 2003
      Death Age: 83,late of Maryborough
      (Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay) 30 AUG 2003)
      (Ryerson Index Database)
    Person ID I8611  Hickey, List, Bundesen, Thomsen, Jensen, Jessen
    Last Modified 22 Apr 2022 

    Father Frederick Wondunna,   b. 11 Feb 1914, Fraser Island/K'gari , Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Feb 1956, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Mother Ethel Marion Reeves (née Gribble),   b. 20 May 1879, Jerilderie, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jun 1965, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years) 
    Married 30 Dec 1907  Sidney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • 50/1908
      WONDUNNA FRED
      REEVES ETHEL
      SYDNEY
      (New South Wales Marriage Index)
    Family ID F6408  Group Sheet

    Family Ronald Richard Miller,   b. 6 Oct 1918, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Jul 2004, Mater Hospital,, Townsville, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married

    • Marriage registration: Olga Eunice Reeves
      Marriage date: 01/06/1940
      Spouse's name: Ronald Richard Miller
      Registration details: 1940/C/2424
      (Queensland Marriage Index 1829-1947

    Children 
     1. Glen Miller
     2. Wendy Joy Miller,   b. 19 May 1943, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Apr 2011, Mackay, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
     3. Wayne Miller
     4. Kim Miller
     5. Rhonda Miller
    Last Modified 22 Apr 2022 
    Family ID F2931  Group Sheet


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