Launching Ruff and Ritual in Canberra in 2017
Home is everything. I grew up in a rural town in Bulls in the north island of New Zealand. A Maori girl, who did not speak Maori, I studied French at a ladies’ secondary college because I was placed into a language stream. I completed my final year of secondary studies and gained sufficient marks to go to university but was denied entry. Maori did not go to university in the 70s. So, I took off to the big smoke as most young people do. I enrolled in a psychiatric nurse training but was bundled out of the pre-entry program because I naively made too much of a fuss by going to the media about the mistreatment of inpatients.
I found various occupations as a nurse aide before completing training as a haemodialysis technician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. In between stints as a technician, I took other occupational pursuits including disc jockey for the Juliana’s Nightclub franchise, and filling in as an extra on the Australian television series ‘Prisoner’.
I had always had in mind that I would go to university eventually but not before marrying and starting my undergraduate arts course pregnant, just to complicate things. I found that the more I learnt, the more I realised how much I did not know and so kept going to complete my masters by research thesis on racism in Australian Rules football (La Trobe, 1999) and my PhD on the relevance of indigenous role model programs utilising elite indigenous athletes to indigenous education policy (Monash, 2004). It was a relatively smooth transition into the tertiary sector from tutor, mostly in Sociology, during my doctoral candidacy to lecturing and course development in education. I liked Marxian class theory as an undergraduate and still do even though this is not fashionable.
I am an independent thinker who writes critically of institution. My objective throughout is to unmask the silences and paradoxes of well-intentioned liberalism. My interest is the changing significance of race and racism in the context of indigenous representation in sport, education, media and social policy. On that note, published works soon to be made available for purchase in PDF form only will include my book The Real and the Unreal: Hyper Narratives of Indigenous Athletes and the Changing Significance of Race (2007). To view covers for previous works go to https://www.stellacoram.com/gallery-of-works/.
I recently completed a three-year deployment to Papua New Guinea as a trailing spouse to my partner, an official representing an Australian aid based public service sector support program. My experience of deployment is the foundation for my latest work Ruff and Ritual: The Politics of Paradise in Papua New Guinea. Since returning to my home in Melbourne Australia in October 2016, I completed Ruff and Ritual, now available for purchase, two refereed journal articles (one co-authored) and a book review. Preliminary feedback for Ruff and Ritual has been most encouraging. A philosophical work that comments critically on the impact and implications of Australian aid policy, I have priced it accordingly (see Shop).
I continue to write on matters close to the heart such as my ongoing research on the connection between my extended family to the great German literary figure Johann von Goethe, which is available to download for free.
When not engaged in writing, I enjoy coaching netball. I am a tragic Australian Rules football supporter of the St Kilda Football Club which seems to find new ways to undo itself with each season.