On Red Earth Walking

Anne Scrimgeour delivers a comprehensive and nuanced account of a significant, unique, and understudied episode of Australian history.

With First Nations actors at the centre, and foregrounding their agency and experiences through oral history.

In 1946 Aboriginal people walked off pastoral stations in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, withdrawing their labour from the economically-important wool industry to demand improvements in wages and conditions.  Their strike lasted three years. Using extensive and previously unsourced  archival evidence, Scrimgeour provides a lucid examination of the system of colonial control that  existed in the Pilbara prior to the strike, and a fascinating and detailed account of how thesemechanisms were gradually broken down by striker activism.

This history raises provocative ideas around racial tensions in a pastoral settler economy, and examines political concerns that influenced settler responses to the strike, to create a nuanced and engaging account of this pivotal event in Australian Indigenous and labour histories.

Soft cover, 540 Pages.