Dodd, Marty 1921-
DODD, Marty 1921-
PERSONAL: Born July 30, 1921, in Todmorden Station, South Australia, Australia; son of Tjundaga "Tommy" (a stockman, road maker, and surveyor) and Rosie (a homemaker) Dodd; married Rita Lang; children: Johnny, Glenys, Kevin, Rosemarie, Raelene, Robert, Christopher. Ethnicity: "Aboriginal Australian (language group Antikirinya)." Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: "Family interests—many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, occasional opal noodling with family."
ADDRESSES: Home—c/o P.O. Box 347, Umoona Community, Coober Pedy, South Australia 5723, Australia. Agent—Michele Madigan, 11 Burdekin Ave., Murray Bridge, South Australia 5723, Australia.
CAREER: Worked as a stockman, horse breaker, and race horse trainer in outback of South Australia, c. 1935-75. Worked as an opal gouger and opal checker, 1940s-mid-70s, then full time, 1975-99; worked on Aboriginal cultural sites, c. 1980s-90s. Chairperson, Umoona Aged Care, Inc., 1999-2000.
MEMBER: Antikirinya, Inc., Kokatha Mula, Inc.
They Liked Me, the Horses, Straightaway, Ginninderra Press (Charnwood, Australian Capital Territory, Australia), 2000.
ADAPTATIONS: They Liked Me, the Horses, Straightaway was adapted for audiotape by Queensland Narrating Service and broadcast on National Indigenous Radio Service.
SIDELIGHTS: Marty Dodd told CA: "In my mind, I'm just an ordinary stockman, but people said it would be good to hear how I was a racehorse trainer in the days when Anangu—Aboriginal people—weren't even allowed to go in the races themselves. So that's how I came to make my book. I could do what they could—train the horses to win. Not many people can win the Kingoonya and Oodnadatta Cups by getting the horses there walking two hundred miles each way—like I did.
"The horses used to like me. Horses respond to kindness. My boss found out my horses weren't restless. They wouldn't run away from me. Mine were calm. That's just my way. So he got me to break in all the horses. It turned out all right for me and for all the horses as well.
"In the fields, looking for opal, I enjoyed that too. Yes, I had many years with the opal—digging it out, checking behind the bulldozers, noodling on the dumps. But what I really am is a stockman. When you've lived among animals—you know them.
"As to my early life, I was only four or five, only young, when they broke up our family—even though the family wants you. We never went back to our own mothers and fathers. No, they just took us. The father wanted us, but they sent us to [the Colebrook] Home.
"Then I had my own family, and later on my wife left me. Left me with all the kids. Seven kids! I had fifteen years of growing them up in between going for opal. Some of the time living on Umoona, on the reserve, living in a little humpy. Some of the time living up on the hill, in the bushes, camping with the kids. We didn't have a house.
"I just had to be there all those years. The kids are part of you. I was mother and father. I grew up those kids from when she left. In my mind, everyone is free in the world. They can do what they want to do. That's why I never worried about nothing much. I just take it in my stride. This is the way things are."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Magpies, March, 2001, Alison Gregg, "Being There: Stories to Bring History to Life for Young Readers," p. 42.