Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


The Cunnamulla storyteller

His early years in the Yumba shaped Herb Wharton's life

Story: John Elliot

Herb WhartonThe road from Cunnamulla to Paris seems a long one and, at first glance, former stockman Herb Wharton seems an unlikely person to have travelled it.

But Herb is now an acclaimed Aboriginal writer who is winning praise all over the world for the way he tells his stories.

Born in Yumba - the Aboriginal camp - 200 metres past the cemetery in the south-western Queensland town of Cunnamulla, herb now lives in a one-bedroom flat on the other side of the graveyard. He may not have moved far locally, but Herb's success has taken him to most of the world's major cities to share his tales about growing up in the Australian bush.

"Working as a stockman was really my only job option as a young Aboriginal, but I went to school and learned to read and write. This was probably the most important thing I ever did," Herb says. Story end

Full story Issue 8, December 1999-January 2000

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