Author(s): Paul Memmot
When Europeans first reached Australian shores, an expedient and long-held belief developed that Australian Aboriginal people did not have houses or towns. Instead it was believed that they occupied temporary camps, sheltering in makeshift huts or lean-tos of grass and bark. Turning this popular idea on its head, Gunyah, Goondie and Wurley explores the range and complexity of Aboriginal-designed structures, spaces and territorial behaviour, from minimalist shelters to permanent villages. Gunyah, Goondie and Wurley covers in depth the architecture of early contact Aboriginal Australia. It also gives a brief overview of post-1970 collaborative architecture between white Australian architects and Aboriginal clients. Gunyah, Goondie and Wurley provides an introduction and a framework for ongoing debate and research on the subject, and more broadly aims to introduce the lay reader to the subject and provide avenues of insight into the lifestyles and cultural heritage of Aboriginal peoples.
Paul Memmott is the director of the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre in the School of Geography, Planning, and Architecture at the University of Queensland. He is the former area editor for Australia in "The Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World."