Heroes come in different shapes and forms. Don Bradman became a national hero because of his feats on the cricket field. Ken Hansen’s achievements as a translator were hidden away from the public gaze in the remotest parts of Australia. I ask you, how many people have gone from coastal cities to central Australia and spent a lifetime raising their family among tribal Aboriginals? Not many is my guess.
Well, Ken and his wife Leslie went at the invitation of the Bindibi/Lorich people to learn their language and to give them their own written materials for the very first time. You’ll hear him explain their method of translation and answer questions about missionaries ‘interfering’ with culture.
I recorded Ken’s story in a noisy coffee shop at the Bradman Museum in Bowral. I hope you can persevere with the sound here in part 1 of the extended interview as I think it is a great story. After you’ve heard it, you can make up your own mind as to whether he qualifies as a genuine Aussie hero.
Join The Outback Historian, Paul Roe, on an unforgettable journey into Australia's Past as he follows the footprints of the Master Storyteller and uncovers unknown treasures of the nation.