Eddie Bennell

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Eddie Bennel
Died(1991-01-18)January 18, 1991

Edward James Bennell (1939 – January 1991) was a playwright, prose writer, and boxer from Western Australia.

He was born Thomas Bennell in 1939[1] near Brookton.[2] His parents were Edward Sterling Bennell and Elsie May Bennel (née Bolton), and Eddie was the youngest in a family of three brothers (Brain, Avon, Wayne) and one sister (Nancy). Eddie lived on an aboriginal mission on the outskirts of Brookton in his youth.

Eddie married Rhonda Sully (now Winmar). They lived their early years on the mission outside of Brookton, having two girls Tracy and May. A few years later they moved the family near "the big smoke"(Perth), staying in Maylands first. Then having Olman, Eddie, and Maxine. In the mid 1980s while living in Gosnells, 2 more children were to complete the immediate family Allan and Kirsty (adopted).[citation needed]

Eddie and his father Edward took "dog tags" to be able to move around a bit more to get a job in the hope of advancing their families and relations lives. He was close to his uncle Jack Davis, an aboriginal playwright of the 1980s. Jack was a large influence on Eddie's playwriting future.[citation needed]

In 1974 he served as the inaugural chairman of the National Aboriginal Commission, in Canberra.[1]

He died on 18 January 1991 at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital. Eddie's last place living with his family was Coolbellup. in Fremantle.[2]


Bennell published 22 works[2] in his life, including the following:[3]

  • 1975: Whither the Aborigines and the N.A.C
  • 1980: Aboriginal legends from the Bibulmun tribe (translated into Chinese in 1983)
  • 1990: The silent years[4]
  • Flight of an Eagle
  • Waargle
  • 1993: My Spiritual Dreaming[5]


  1. ^ a b Casey, Maryrose (2004). Creating Frames: Contemporary Indigenous Theatre 1967-1990, University of Queensland Press.
  2. ^ a b c AustLit entry, accessed 20 February 2016.
  3. ^ Works by and about Bennell at Trove
  4. ^ AusStage
  5. ^ AusStage

External links[edit]