James Devaney

James Devaney

Name: James Devaney

Epoch: Early 20th Century (the \'Long Early Twentieth Century\')

Grouping Field: Literature (Fiction)

Location Grouping: Individual\'s Work Location

Map Coordinates: 27°27\'28.6\"S 153°01\'33.4\"E

Years At Location: 1921-1976

One Historical Setting: Mr. James Martin Devaney (formerly Brother Fabian Joseph), somewhere in Brisbane [TBA] (1944)

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James Devaney was a well-established literary figure in Australia, known and associated with poets John Shaw Neilson and Oodgeroo Noonuccal [oo-jer-oo noo-knuckle] (formerly Kath Walker). His volume of vivid and imaginative stories based on Aboriginal lore, Vanished Tribes (Sydney, 1929), enjoyed popular success; it was later used in schools and was an influence in the formation of the Jindyworobak movement.

Impact On Brisbane Society

James Devaney was said to have provided a focus for Brisbane’s Catholic Poetry Society, and was President of the Queensland Authors’ and Artists’ Association in 1944-1945. From 1924 to 1943, under the pen-name ‘Fabian’, he contributed a nature column to the Brisbane Courier (Courier-Mail from 1933) which was syndicated in other Queensland newspapers. He was also editor of the literary page, and on occasions was acting-editor, for the Catholic Leader in Brisbane. Devaney left Brisbane around 1946, but he did return and died in Brisbane in August 1976.


M. D. O’Hagan, ‘Devaney, James Martin (1890–1976)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/devaney-james-martin-9959/text17645, published first in hardcopy 1993, accessed online 4 July 2019.

Fitzgerald, Ross; Megarrity, Lyndon; Symons, David. Made in Queensland : a New History, Special Q150 commemorative edition, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Qld, 2009.

Image Citation

James Devaney with Wife and Unidentified Child. State Library of Queensland