Aurukun part 1: Two love birds in the bush

Bruce with his dad Dave Martin

“It’s the story of two love birds out in the bush, who had a fat little brown baby, and whose lives are linked between mainstream Australia and remote Aboriginal Australia.”

That’s how Bruce Martin summarises the story of his Wik mother, Dorothy Pootchemunka, and white father, Dave Martin.

In the first in a two part series, this story takes you to the place those two love birds met: Aurukun, an Indigenous community in far north Queensland, which is home to the Wik peoples.

We chart the story of Dave’s arrival in Aurukun in the 1970s, his adoption into a Wik family, his relationship with Dorothy, and what happened when things started to fall apart.

I produced this series for ABC RN’s Earshot. You can hear episode one here, episode two here, and an article I wrote for ABC News here.

Dorothy Topsy Bruce.jpg
Bruce with his now deceased grandmother Topsy Wolmby and his mother Dorothy Pootchemunka