(Reginald Charles Ingamells)
1913 – 1955
REGINALD CHARLES INGAMELLS (Rex Ingamells) was an Australian poet and generally credited with being the founder of the Jindyworobaks Movement.
He was born in Orroroo, South Australia and gained his love of poetry at Port Lincoln High School. He attended the University of Adelaide and received his B.A. in 1934. Four years later he married Eileen Eva Spensley at the Methodist Church, Port Broughton located on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.
Ingamells unsuccessfully applied for a number of academic positions. Needing a job, he took work as a journalist, publishers representative and a commercial traveller.
During this time he wrote Gumtops and Forgotten People. In 1938 he published Conditional Culture as his manifesto on the impact of overseas influences on Australian culture. This newfound worry over losing Australian culture led him to found the nationalistic Jindyworobaks Movement. Rex and Ian Mudie wanted writers to portray Australian people and nature the way they truly are in Australia, not as seen from a Europeans perspective. An emphasis was placed on promoting Aboriginal culture and their relationship with the land as a way to recognize the importance of environmental values to Australia.
Rex, Ian and others wanted a fundamental break of Australian art and literature from English influences. Between 1938 and 1953, through his Jindyworobaks Movement as an editor and publisher he was responsible for over forty volumes of poetry and literary comment. The word Jindyworobaks, an Aboriginal word/phrase, was taken to mean “to join” or “to join together”.
Ingamells is the recipient of the Grace Levin Prize for Poetry (1945) and the Australian Literature Society’s gold medal (1951).
Rex Ingamells died in a car accident 30 December 1955 near Dimboola, Victoria Australia. He is buried in Payneham Cemetery in Adelaide, South Australia.
Ingamells’ works include:
- 1935 Gumtops
- 1936 Forgotten People
- 1938 Sun-Freedom
- 1938 Conditional Culture (with Ian Tilbrook)
- 1940 Memory of Hills
- 1942 News of the Sun
- 1943 Unknown Land
- 1943 Content are the Quiet Ranges
- 1944 Selected Poems
- 1945 Yera: A Verse Narrative
- 1948 Come Walkabout
- 1949 From Phillip to McKell: The Story of Australia
- 1949 Handbook of Australian Literature
- 1951 Because Men Went Hungry: An Essay on the Uncertainty of Australian Prestige
- 1951 The Great South Land: An Epic Poem
- 1952 Of Us Now Living: A Novel of Australia
- 1952 William Gay: Australian Man of Letters
- 1952 Aranda Boy: An Aboriginal Story
- 1954 Royalty and Australia
- 1955 Australian Aboriginal words: Aboriginal-English, English-Aboriginal
- 1987 Platypus and Kookaburra: Poem (published posthumously)