Writing in the Sand
The epic story of legendary band Yothu Yindi and ‘Treaty’, the song that gave voice to a movement
Sometimes a musical revolution can erupt from the most unlikely of places. Long before they were ARIA Hall of Fame inductees, Yothu Yindi were a bunch of Yolngu (First Nations People of East Arnhem Land) and balanda (non-Indigenous) mates rocking out in the remote Top End. Soon they were creating some of the coolest new music in the country, splicing traditional sounds with electric, and spreading a message of unity.
Author: Mark Garrick
An important tribute to the work and life of extraordinary Aboriginal activist, William Cooper
Focusing on Cooper’s most important campaigns – his famous petition to King George VI for an Aboriginal representative in the Australian parliament, his call for a day of mourning after 150 years of colonisation, the walk-off of the Yorta Yorta people from Cummeragunja reserve in 1939 and his opposition to the establishment of an Aboriginal regiment in the Second World War – this carefully researched study sheds important new light on the long struggle that Indigenous people have fought to tell the truth about Australia’s black history and to win representation in Australia’s political order.
Author: Bain Attwood
Tongerlongeter: First Nations Leader
This book does not remedy injustice, but it recognises it. It offers Tongerlongeter, his people and his allies respect, recognition and regret. May it be one of many such books.’ — Bill Gammage
During Tasmania’s Black War of 1823-31, Tongerlongeter led the most effective Aboriginal resistance campaign in Australian history. His Oyster Bay Nation of southeast Tasmania and his ally Montpelliatta’s Big River Nation of central Tasmania made some 710 attacks, killing 182 colonists and wounding a further 176. Despite this, First Nations casualties were up to three times greater and their population plummeted. Militarily it was a lost cause, yet their determined resistance and dogged commitment to Country, culture and each other provoked desperation at every level of the fledgling colony.
Author: Henry Reynolds, Nicholas Clements
A collective memoir of one of Australia’s most charismatic First Nation’s leaders and an epic portrait of a period in the life of a country, reminiscent in its scale and intimacy of the work of Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Svetlana Alexievich.
A collective memoir of the charismatic First Nations leader, political thinker, and entrepreneur who died in Darwin in 2015. Taken from his family as a child and brought up in a mission on Croker Island, Tracker Tilmouth returned home to transform the world of First Nation’s politics. He worked tirelessly for First Nations self-determination, creating opportunities for land use and economic development in his many roles, including Director of the Central Land Council. He was a visionary and a projector of ideas, renowned for his irreverent humour and his anecdotes.
Author: Alexis Wright
Tell Me Why
No one has lived as many lives as Archie Roach – stolen child, seeker, teenage alcoholic, lover, father, musical and lyrical genius, and leader – but it took him almost a lifetime to find out who he really was.
Roach was only two years old when he was forcibly removed from his family. Brought up by a series of foster parents until his early teens, his world imploded when he received a letter that spoke of a life he had no memory of. In this intimate, moving and often shocking memoir, Archie’s story is an extraordinary odyssey through love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal – and the healing power of music. Overcoming enormous odds to find his story and his people, Archie voices the joy, pain and hope he found on his path through song to become the legendary singer-songwriter and storyteller that he is today – beloved by fans worldwide.
Author: Archie Roach
With clarity and passion, Pearson inspires readers to see difficult and controversial issues in new ways.
Mission selects the best of Pearson’s work to date. There are indelible portraits of political leaders seen close up – Keating, Rudd, Whitlam, Turnbull and more. There is Pearson’s brilliant exploration of a Voice to Parliament, which led eventually to the Uluru Statement from the Heart. And there are acute analyses – of passive welfare; of the fate of the Labor Party; of identity politics, good and bad; and of education and the role of a great teacher.
Author: Noel Pearson
The profoundly moving biography of a truly great Australian who, against the greatest of odds, became one of Australia’s most respected and recognisable Indigenous leaders.
Lowitja O’Donoghue is a truly great Australian. She is arguably our nation’s most recognised Indigenous woman. A powerful and unrelenting advocate for her people, an inspiration for many, a former Australian of the Year, she sat opposite Prime Minister Paul Keating in the first negotiations between an Australian government and Aboriginal people and changed the course of the nation. But when Lowitja was born in 1932 to an Aboriginal mother and a white father in the harsh and uncompromising landscape of Central Australia the expectations for her life could not have been more different. At the age of two, she was handed over to the missionaries of the Colebrook Home for Half-Caste Children and cut off completely from her people and her culture. She would not see her mother again for another thirty years and would have no memory of her father.
Author: Stuart Rintoul
David is a gateway to a history that we’ve so far denied and not embraced. In this country, he’s more important than Ned Kelly.’
It has been over fifty years since a teenage David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu illuminated screens worldwide with his breakout role in Walkabout. It was one of the first times we’d seen an Aboriginal person cast in a significant role and only four years after Holt’s referendum to alter the constitution and give First Nations people citizenship and, subsequently, the right to vote. Gulpilil quickly became the face of the First Nations world to white Australian audiences. Charisma. Good looks. A competent, strong, mysterious man starring in films ranging from Crocodile Dundee to Rabbit-Proof Fence.
Author: Derek Reilly
Daughter of the River Country
From a victim of the ‘stolen generations’ comes a remarkable memoir of abuse, survival – and ultimately hope.
Born in country NSW in the 1940s, baby Dianne is immediately taken from her Aboriginal mother. Raised in the era of the White Australia policy, Dianne grows up believing her adoptive Irish mother, Val, is her birth mother. Val promises Dianne that one day they will take a trip and she will ‘tell her a secret’. But before they get the chance, Val tragically dies.
Author: Dianne O’Brien
Black and Blue
The story of a First Nations woman who worked as a police officer and fought for justice both within and beyond the Australian police force
Author: Veronica Gorrie