WALK BACK OVER by Jeanine Leane

"Aboriginal women are the great gatherers of many things," says Jeanine Leane, "food, of course, but also stories and inner strength. The women who raised me had vast reserves of inner strength, and to pass that on was a powerful act of activism. In particular, they taught me to listen to the past as it speaks in the present.

This work is about listening to the past and walking back over it, step after step, to see what you missed the first time. 

The title Walk Back Over alludes to a bridge across the Murrumbidgee River where I grew up but, more symbolically, mirrors the need to revisit our past. Much was made of the 2000 Reconciliation Walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge – many settler Australians walked across this and other bridges, and I am not cynical about that – but there are many other spans in Australia that must be walked: not just once, walked back over.


Jeanine Leane will be joined by Timmah Ball and Ellen van Neerven to talk about what it means to "walk back over" land and history, and why poetry is a way to do that so well. Jeanine is also part of the "speak out" session of poetry readings, a treat for those who enjoy spoken word.