Talking back: A new theatrical representation of Noongar women's experience

Author Identifiers

Bobbi Henry


Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Performing Arts)


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Advisor

Jonathan W. Marshall

Second Advisor

Jo Pollitt

Third Advisor

Clint Bracknell


This thesis looks at Indigenous theatre and storytelling within Western Australia, with a focus on women and the emotional turmoil of oppression and intergenerational trauma. I have looked towards the women in my family to explore stories of matriarchal strength and leadership. By looking at the women of the past, I wanted to highlight the inner turmoil that people feel now and how through the strength of storytelling we can express our emotions that we as women have experienced.

Through Indigenous women’s standpoints I have shared stories and creatively reworked from the colonial past and present and with adoption of the living text method I have told a story that embodies my own experiences and those of my family. With the introduction of my puzzle as method approach, I found a new and interesting way to draft stories and improvise new dialogue.

Through this work you will find a story of familial bonds, which hold onto the ideals of what it is to be a Noongar woman living on Noongar boodjar and the shaping of a woman’s destiny through the stories of her ancestors.

This thesis consists of two integral creative research outputs, namely a draft playscript, and a recording of an experimental performed reading of an edited version of this draft script. These two elements constitute part of the examinable material for the thesis as per Edith Cowan University regulations. These creative research outcomes are accompanied by exegetical notes and commentary which blend the scholarly and the personal to best represent the living texts—and the intense, often painful emotions—which this project documents and reflects upon.

Access Note

Access to this thesis is embargoed until 7th December 2025.

Access to this thesis is restricted. Please see the Access Note below for access details.