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Mentone Girls' Grammar School | Kerferd Library

Broader Reading | Indigenous Australians: Nonficiton

Senior School books in the Kerferd Library that support an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, culture, history, and identity.
Resource Key

When accessing content use the numbers below to guide you:

LEVEL

Brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)

LEVEL

Provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.

Level 3 resourceLEVEL

Lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)

Print non fiction books you can borrow

InformationThere are many more books on Indigenous Australians in the Kerferd Library. Use the explore link to browse this collection.

Dark Emu: aboriginal Australia and the birth of agriculture [print edition]

Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the 'hunter-gatherer' tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retelling's of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required.

Young dark emu: a truer history [Print edition]

Young Dark Emu - A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia's history pre-European colonisation - a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent.

Dark emu in the classroom [Print edition]

A resource for teachers of Geography Years 9 and 10 to use in the classroom. Based on the concepts in Bruce Pascoe's acclaimed book Dark Emu, this resource presents lesson content for the topics: Biomes and Food Security (Vic Year 9) / Environmental Change and Management (Vic. Year 10). This resource offers both new and experienced teachers a supportive and fresh approach to teaching geography through its well-organised lesson structure and high-interest, inquiry-based activities for students.

The Biggest Estate on Earth [Print edition]

Reveals the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people in presettlement Australia.

The Little Red Yellow Black Book [Print edition]

Originally published in 1994 and written from an Indigenous perspective, this highly illustrated and accessible introduction covers a range of topics from history, culture, and the Arts, through to activism and reconciliation. In this fourth edition, readers will learn about some of the significant contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made, and continue to make, to the Australian nation.

Talking to my country

An extraordinarily powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity. In July 2015, as the debate over Adam Goodes being booed at AFL games raged and got ever more heated and ugly, Stan Grant wrote a short but powerful piece for The Guardian that went viral, not only in Australia but right around the world, shared over 100,000 times on social media. His was a personal, passionate and powerful response to racism in Australia and the sorrow, shame, anger and hardship of being an indigenous man. This is his very personal meditation on what it means to be Australian, what it means to be indigenous, and what racism really means in this country. Talking to My Country is that rare and special book that talks to every Australian about their country - what it is, and what it could be. It is not just about race, or about indigenous people but all of us, our shared identity.

Art+Soul

art+soul is inspired by the flourishing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in Australia over the past thirty years, captivating viewers around the world with astonishingly powerful artworks.

The Tears of Strangers

A family memoir, charting the political and social changes of Aborigines over the period of 40 years. This is a story, spanning the generations of the 'Wiradjuri people'.

Life in Indigenous Australia Communities

This book presents a vivid first-hand account of life in four different Indigenous Australian communities: Gawa (Arnhem Land, Northern Territory); Haasts Bluff (Central Desert, Northern Territory); Nguiu (Bathurst Island, Northern Territory); and Warmun (East Kimberly, Western Australia). These are just some of the diverse community groups that make up Indigenous Australian societies today.

First Footprints: the epic story of the first Australians

First Footprints tells the extraordinary story of the Aboriginal people of Australia. How they made their way out of Africa 60,000 years ago, and how they survived across this vast continent, from the harsh deserts of the inland to the glaciers of southern Tasmania. With photos from the ABC TV series of the same name.

Loving country : a guide to sacred Australia

A new, fully illustrated book from award-winning author Bruce Pascoe and photographer Vicky Shukuroglou that offers a deeper understanding of Australia and how best to travel and appreciate the heart of the country. 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. 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.

Fire country : how Indigenous fire management could help save Australia

Delving deep into the Australian landscape and the environmental challenges we face, Fire Country is a powerful account from Indigenous land management expert Victor Steffensen on how the revival of cultural burning practices, and improved 'reading' of country, could help to restore our land.From a young age, Victor has had a passion for traditional cultural and ecological knowledge. This was further developed after meeting two Elders, who were to become his mentors and teach him the importance of cultural burning. Developed over many generations, this knowledge shows clearly that Australia actually needs fire. Moreover, fire is an important part of a wholistic approach to the environment, and when burning is done in a carefully considered manner, this ensures proper land care and healing.Victor's story is unassuming and honest, while demonstrating the incredibly sophisticated and complex cultural knowledge that has been passed down to him, which he wants to share with others. Fire Country is written in a way that reflects the nature of yarning, and while some of the knowledge shared in this book may not align with Western views, there is much evidence that, if adopted, it could greatly benefit all Australians.

People of the River

A landmark history of Australia's first successful settler farming area, which was on the Hawkesbury-Nepean River. Award-winning historian Grace Karskens uncovers the everyday lives of ordinary people in the early colony, both Aboriginal and British.

eBooks you can access 24/7

Aboriginal Victorians: A History Since 1800 [eBook]

Early settlers saw Victoria and its rolling grasslands as Australia felix happy south land a prize left for Englishmen by God. However, for its original inhabitants this country was home and life, not to be relinquished without a fierce struggle. Richard Broome tells the story of the impact of European ideas, guns, killer microbes and a pastoral economy on the networks of kinship, trade and cultures that various Aboriginal peoples of Victoria had developed over millennia. From first settlement to the present, he shows how Aboriginal families have coped with ongoing disruption and displacement, and how individuals and groups have challenged the system. With painful stories of personal loss as well as many successes, Broome outlines how Aboriginal Victorians survived near decimation to become a vibrant community today.

Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the Birth of Agriculture [eBook]

‘Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent... [It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.'Judges for 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing — behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence in Dark Emu comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.

Indigenous Australia for Dummies [eBook]

A comprehensive, relevant, and accessible look at all aspects of Indigenous Australian history and culture What is The Dreaming? How many different Indigenous tribes and languages once existed in Australia? What is the purpose of a corroboree? What effect do the events of the past have on Indigenous peoples today? Indigenous Australia For Dummies answers these questions and countless others about the oldest race on Earth. It explores Indigenous life in Australia before 1770, the impact of white settlement, the ongoing struggle by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to secure their human rights and equal treatment under the law, and much more. Celebrating the contributions of Indigenous people to contemporary Australian culture, the book explores Indigenous art, music, dance, literature, film, sport, and spirituality. It discusses the concept of modern Indigenous identity and examines the ongoing challenges facing Indigenous communities today, from health and housing to employment and education, land rights, and self-determination.

No Small Change: The Road to Recognition for Indigenous Australia [eBook]

What lessons have been learned from the 1967 referendum? In 1967, Australians voted overwhelmingly in favour of altering two aspects of the Constitution that related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Although these seemed like small amendments, they provided an impetus for real change - from terra nullius to land rights, and from assimilation to self-determination. Over 50 years later, there is a groundswell of support for our indigenous heritage to be formally recognised in the Constitution.

A Concise Companion to Aboriginal History

This book is an overview of Australian Aboriginal history, from creation stories involving the Dreaming through to Aboriginal cultural and political activity in the 21st century. Alphabetically arranged entries include biographies, historical events, pioneering work by anthropologists, historical controversies, literature, sport, and a number of social issues. The book covers all regions of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. It includes photographs, maps, population tables, a chronology, and bibliography.

The Little Red Yellow Black Book [eBook]

Originally published in 1994 and written from an Indigenous perspective, this highly illustrated and accessible introduction covers a range of topics from history, culture, and the Arts, through to activism and reconciliation. In this fourth edition, readers will learn about some of the significant contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have made, and continue to make, to the Australian nation.

Decolonizing the Landscape: Indigenous Cultures in Australia

How does one read across cultural boundaries? The multitude of creative texts, performance practices, and artworks produced by Indigenous writers and artists in contemporary Australia calls upon Anglo-European academic readers, viewers, and critics to respond to this critical question. Contributors address a plethora of creative works by Indigenous writers, poets, playwrights, filmmakers, and painters. The complexity of these creative works transcends categorical boundaries of Western art, aesthetics, and literature, demanding new processes of reading and response. Other contributors address works by non-Indigenous writers and filmmakers all of whom actively engage in questioning their complicity with the past in order to challenge Western modes of knowledge and understanding and to enter into a more self-critical and authentically ethical dialogue with the Other.

Aboriginal People and Their Plants

The book is unique, spanning the gap between botany and indigenous studies. It differs from other published Australian'bushtucker'overviews by treating the study of plants as a window upon which to delve into Aboriginal culture. The topic of Aboriginal use and perception of plants is vast and therefore far too large for full treatment of all regions in a single volume. Nevertheless, this book offers an overview to assist readers appreciate the depth of indigenous ecological knowledge about the environment.

Indigenous Australian Cultures (eBooks)

Indigenous Australian Culture covers a vast array of subjects on Indigenous Australian culture -- from fine arts to ceremonies, from legends to the culture's global influence.

The Civilisation of Port Phillip: Settler Ideology, Violence, and Rhetorical Possession

Port Phillip's free settlers often said that they were civilising a wilderness. The truth was that the occupied country already had people, laws, politics, and economies. What did ‘civilisation'mean to the free settlers? And what was the relationship between civilising and violence? The Civilisation of Port Phillip tracks the violent history of the first years of British settlement in the Port Phillip District, now the state of Victoria. It illuminates the underlying free-settler rhetoric that advocated and abetted violence on the frontier. For the first time, we hear the settlers tell us in their own words what the civilisation of Port Phillip really involved. Frontier violence in Port Phillip involved Aboriginal peoples, convicts, free settlers and colonial officials. This history shows how the lives of these different people interconnected in early Port Phillip, in unlikely friendships, dire misunderstandings, and fatal clashes. It paints a vivid picture of the period drawn from archival records, a thorough re-reading of older histories, and new ideas in the scholarship of violence. As well as sheep and firearms, free settlers brought Enlightenment ideas about civilisation to Port Phillip. When these European ideas were coupled with Australian frontier experience, they manifested in an exterminatory attitude towards people deemed undesirable in the coming colony. The Civilisation of Port Phillip shows how free-settler rhetoric, law, and systems of classification reinforced and sought to justify the violence of the frontier.

Stolen Generations and the Way Ahead: Issues in Society,

Examines past government practices of forced child removal and assimilation of indigenous children. What is the nation's current plan for healing the pain of the Stolen Generations? Are we any closer to needs-based funding and a financial redress scheme, dealing with intergenerational trauma and establishing a policy response?

Protest, Land Rights and Riots: Postcolonial Struggles in Australia in the 1980s

The 1970s was a period of unprecedented political agency and legislative change in Aboriginal people's struggles for the recognition of postcolonial rights. What is significant is that they didn't just seek rights to be granted to them, but for some measure of rights to be restored to them. Against this background, rural communities where large Aboriginal populations lived, were in foment as a consequence of political and economic change, major structural change, social fragmentation and unparalleled unemployment. Politically, neoliberalism became the new orthodoxy recasting the state's role in the economy and redefining government programs and services. In Protest Land Rights and Riots, Barry Morris shows how those policies targeted those least integrated socially and culturally and who enjoyed fewer legitimate economic opportunities. The so-called riots, protests and law-and-order campaigns of the time captured much of the tense relations that existed between Indigenous people, the police and the criminal justice system.

Aboriginal People and Their Plants

The book is unique, spanning the gap between botany and indigenous studies. It differs from other published Australian'bushtucker'overviews by treating the study of plants as a window upon which to delve into Aboriginal culture. The topic of Aboriginal use and perception of plants is vast and therefore far too large for full treatment of all regions in a single volume. Nevertheless, this book offers an overview to assist readers appreciate the depth of indigenous ecological knowledge about the environment.

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