Pemulwuy Weeatunga


John is a 62 year old indigenous Australian of Kabi-kabi Aboriginal, Sth-Sea-islander, Nepalese and Indian/Sri-Lankan descent.

John was born in Gladstone, Qld, and worked for Qld Railways and various construction firms throughout Queensland, until injuries forced him into trying a less physical pathway.

In 1990 – at thirty-six years of age – John began a BA, majoring in Literature and Aboriginal Studies. He graduated ten years later while working for CQ-University in the multi-media section. During this time John also gained a certificate in Film & Television production at AFTRS in Sydney. In 2004, after 14 years at CQU, John took his family to the Aboriginal community of Aurukun on Cape York, where he met Aboriginal lawyer Noel Pearson. Together they created the Higher Expectations Program (HEP): a full secondary scholarship sponsored by Macquarie Bank’s philanthropic arm (MGF,) in an attempt to solve some of the huge social problems and high-school dropout rate in the Cape’s indigenous remote communities.

To date HEP has over 40 University graduates – all ‘firsts’ from those 18 remote communities. The program is now called the Cape York Leadership Program (CYLP), and had its 10 year anniversary in 2016.

In 2011 John had to stop work owing to several long-standing construction-work injuries. He lives in Far North Qld, and promotes the series of 10 fiction books about the 50,000 years of Aboriginal life, prior 1770 through to contemporary times. He has several short stories and poems published under his own name online and in books and several more Fethafoot stories ‘on the go’.


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