Some more books worth reading (Pt. 3)

Another host of suggested books to read to lift your knowledge. Thanks to the brilliant work of Historian Ray Kerkhove and one of Greg’s creative mentors, Athol Young, we proudly bring you part 3 of our lists.

part 1 – get all the best books here
part 2 – come have a squiz at many more

Loving Country
A Guide to Sacred Australia
By: Bruce Pascoe, Vicky Shukuroglou

Loving Country is a powerful and essential guidebook that offers a new way to travel and discover Australia through an Indigenous narrative. In this beautifully designed and photographed edition, co-authors Bruce Pascoe and Vicky Shukuroglou show travellers how to see the country as herself, to know her whole and old story, and to find the way to fall in love with her, our home.

Featuring 18 places in detail, from the ingenious fish traps at Brewarrina and the rivers that feed the Great Barrier Reef, to the love stories of Wiluna and the whale story of Margaret River, there is so much to celebrate. This immersive book covers history, Dreaming stories, traditional cultural practices, Indigenous tours and the importance of recognition and protection of place. It offers keys to unlock the heart of this loving country for those who want to enrich their understanding of our continent, and for travellers looking for more than a whistle-stop tour of Australia.

In Loving Country, Bruce and Vicky hope that all communities will be heard when they tell their stories, and that these stories and the country from which they have grown will be honoured. This guide has been created in consultation with communities, and readers are encouraged to discover sacred Australia by reconsidering the accepted history, and hearing diverse stories of her Indigenous peoples. It is a roadmap to communication and understanding, between all peoples and country, to encourage environmental and social change.

Day Break
By: Amy McQuire, Matt Chun (Illustrator)

Day Break is the story of a family making their way back to Country on January 26. We see the strength they draw from being together, and from sharing stories as they move through a shifting landscape.

The story refocuses the narratives around ‘Australia Day’ on Indigenous survival and resistance, and in doing so honours the past while looking to the future. Confronting yet truthful, painful yet full of hope, Day Break is a crucial story that will open up a conversation on truth-telling for the next generation.

About the Author

Amy McQuire is a Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman from Rockhampton in Central Queensland.

Amy is a freelance writer and journalist, and is currently completing a PhD at the University of Queensland into media representations of violence against Aboriginal women.

Amy began her career straight out of high school, completing a cadetship at the National Indigenous Times (NIT) newspaper. She later became editor of NIT, and for a short time political correspondent for NITV News. Amy has also worked at Tracker Magazine, New Matilda, Brisbane’s 98.9 FM – where she presented the ‘Lets Talk’ current affairs show – and more recently BuzzFeed News Australia.

Over the past four years, Amy has co-hosted the investigative podcast ‘Curtain’ with human rights lawyer Martin Hodgson. The podcast puts forth the case for innocence for Aboriginal man Kevin Henry, who was wrongfully convicted in 1992.

Amy has a strong interest in writing about justice, culture and heritage and feminism.

About the Illustrator

Matt Chun is an artist and writer, currently based on unceded Tsleil-Waututh land / Vancouver, Canada. Living, travelling and creating with his 9-year-old son, Matt’s work spans text, drawing, sculptural installation, children’s books and comics.

Matt is the current Children’s Literature Fellow at the State Library of Victoria in Naarm / Melbourne. He is also the current 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art’s Emerging Writer.

Matt’s first picture book – Australian Birds – was released in 2018 and is a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book.

Matt’s essays have appeared in Overland Literary Journal, Meanjin Quarterly and Runway Journal. He is currently writing texts for Art Monthly Australasia and Liminal Magazine.

Conspiracy of Silence: Queensland’s frontier killing times Paperback – 27 May 2013
by Timothy Bottoms

As Europeans moved into new lands in Queensland in the 19th century, violent encounters with local Aboriginals mostly followed. Drawing on extensive original research, Timothy Bottoms tells the story of the most violent frontier in Australian colonial history.

‘This is an important, well researched book: challenging, compelling and controversial. It is a must read for anyone interested in Australian history.’ – Henry Reynolds

The Queensland frontier was more violent than any other Australian colony. From the first penal settlement at Moreton Bay in 1824, as white pastoralists moved into new parts of country, violence invariably followed. Many tens of thousands of Aboriginals were killed on the Queensland frontier. Europeans were killed too, but in much smaller numbers.

The cover-up began from the start: the authorities in Sydney and Brisbane didn’t want to know, the Native Police did their deadly work without hindrance, and the pastoralists had every reason to keep it to themselves. Even today, what we know about the killing times is swept aside again and again in favour of the pioneer myth.

Conspiracy of Silence is the first systematic account of frontier violence in Queensland. Following in the tracks of the pastoralists as they moved into new lands across the state in the nineteenth century, Timothy Bottoms identifies massacres, poisonings and other incidents, including many that no-one has documented in print before. He explores the colonial mindset and explains how the brutal dispossession of Aboriginal landowners continued over decades.

‘. a road-map back into what seems, from a modern perspective, to be a barely conceivable past.’ – From the foreword by Raymond Evans

Queensland’s Frontier Wars
By: Jack Drake
June 2021

Queensland’s Frontier Wars is an attempt to document the known confrontations between either white settlers or white and native police and First Nations people where deaths were reported. It is now an accepted premise that these confrontations were wars to gain access to the land, because, if not wars, then it was mass murder. No one in Queensland was charged with the murder of First Nations during these confrontations. The book shows the invasion from New South Wales into southern Queensland and the advances from the sea in central and north Queensland. The ‘dispersement’ of the First Nations people from their land was violent and efficient using far superior weaponry.
This book adds significantly to the true and uncomfortable history of Queensland.

First Nations Leader and Tasmanian War Hero
By: Henry Reynolds, Nicholas Clements

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.

Tongerlongeter was the lynch pin that held his people together in the face of apocalyptic invasion, before and after the historic armistice that ended the war on New Year’s Eve 1831. But while his achievements rival those of any Victoria Cross recipient, he is buried in an unmarked grave on Flinders Island. In Tongerlongeter, acclaimed historians Henry Reynolds and Nicholas Clements retrieve one of Australia’s greatest war heroes from historical obscurity.

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

‘The triumph of Henry Reynolds’ secret histories is that in breaking his country’s silences he does so with bracing evidence that not only teaches and shocks us, destroying lies and prejudice, but demands an abiding admiration of the Indigenous people of Australia. I felt proud reading the story of Tongerlongeter and his epic resistance who, in nineteenth century words, “held their ground bravely for 30 years against the invaders of their beautiful domains”. Reynolds and Nicholas Clements also reveal the guardians of empire in turmoil. Did we know? We do now. Once again, our greatest historian has given us the truth about Australia.’ — John Pilger

‘Australia has recently discovered Indigenous defenders of country. They now include Tongerlongeter, recovered from a negligent posterity by Reynolds’ and Clements’ meticulous and imaginative research. Remarkable research and powerful writing.’ — Professor Peter Stanley, UNSW Canberra

Surviving New England: A History of Aboriginal Resistance and Resilience Through the First Forty Years of Colonial Apocalypse
– Callum Clayton-Dixon

2020 – WINNER

Judges’ comments
Callum Clayton-Dixon’s Surviving New England tells of what happened when the country of the Anaiwan people of the Northern Tableland of New South Wales was invaded by settlers and sheep in the nineteenth century. The author’s close attention to the complexities of cross-cultural contact and the destruction of Indigenous culture and material resources reimagines a story of frontier violence too often understood in terms of Aboriginal people easily overcome by the settler presence.

This is an account of violence and dispossession, but also of resistance and survival. Based on formidable research and community knowledge, the book reads the colonial archive against the grain to uncover, as far as possible, the story of the Anaiwan on their own terms. It is also charmingly illustrated by Anaiwan and Kamilaroi artist Narmi Collins-Widders. Surviving New England offers a fresh and engaging perspective on one of the most famous pastoral frontiers in Australian colonial history.

The story of the European invasion of the New England region has been told from the point of view of settlers and their descendants, sometimes in a manner sympathetic to the plight of Indigenous people. In Callum Clayton-Dixon’s Surviving New England, however, we have the story told, and the sources reinterpreted, from the perspective of an accomplished Indigenous scholar. This is a timely history written with clarity, empathy and an eye on the relevance of a contested history to an unresolved present and future.

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