Oodgeroo was born in 1920 on Stradbroke Island (the island is called Minjerriba by the aboriginal people), Queensland, of the Noonuccal people of the Yuggera group. She was best known for her poetry, although she was also an actress, writer, teacher, artist and a campaigner for Aboriginal rights.
Oodgeroo shared with her father the Dreaming totem the carpet snake (Kabul) and his sense of injustice. Leaving school at the age of 13, Oodgeroo worked as a domestic servant until 1939,when she volunteered for service in the Australian Women's Army Service. Between 1961 and 1970, Oodgeroo achieved national prominence not only as the Queensland State Secretary of the Council for the Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (CAATSI), but through her highly popular poetry and writing. With her 1964 collection of verse We Are Going,Oodgeroo became the first published Aboriginal woman. Selling out in three days, We Are Going rivalled the previous record for a publication of Australian verse set in 1916 by C. J. Dennis and his Moods of Ginger Mick. The Dream Is at Hand (1966) was her second volume of poems. My People (1970) represented verse from the earlier editions as well as new poems, short stories, essays and speeches. Stradbroke Dreamtime was published in 1972. Oodgeroo also wrote a number of children's books - Father Sky and Mother Earth (1981), Little Fella (1986), and The Rainbow Serpent (1988) with her son, Kabul Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Vivian). Oodgeroo was involv..