I haven't written a story based on the Lands.
From the beginning, part of me has always wanted to write fictionalised autobiography from my time on the Lands. I've had a title and a basic plot and everything. From the beginning, I've always felt it would be a terrible idea.
In the end, when I draw up a tally of 'everything I learned about Anangu', not even a quarter of a page would be filled. While in some ways I was a member of community (and my last few weeks showed me I was valued), there was still so, so much I didn't know, didn't have the right to know. Anything I'd write would be missing integral truths. While I think I would go embark upon writing such a story with the best intentions of being balanced and honest, I feel like it would be completely exploitative. It would appropriate other people's voices. It would fall into some very icky 'we needed the white (wo)men to come and save us' tropes.
And yet, and yet, there is always going to be at least a teeny, tiny part of me who says that at least I have some knowledge in this area, I could redress some common misconceptions.
If you are reading this, some of you may remember that one of my former students passed away at the beginning of this year. Her death was a tragedy and whenever I think about her and her family my heart aches. One of the things that made the whole situation worse was how the print news reported her death --- not a word was fact. They got her age wrong, they reported the cause behind her death incorrectly, and they made baseless claims about how Anangu would show their grief. It was disgusting how ill-informed a usually respected news outlet could be. That teeny, tiny part of me was very loud at that time.
But, no, I certainly wouldn't write a story about the Lands based on only four years working there (it seemed so much longer at the time.) What I would like to do one day is transcribe and compile a collection of authentic Anangu voices telling their autobiographic stories. I think that would be far more valuable to the world.
Reason(s) for not having written: The reasons are many and varied and to be found beneath the cut.