June 22

Aboriginal Literature

English, Year 11 & 12  Supplementary Materials – Aboriginal Australia:


Burnum Burnum Declaration  26 January 1988

Pearson, Noel 2003, Our Right to Take Responsibility

Oodgeroo Noonuccal (poems) – many of Oodgeroo’s poems are found on this site, some of which are linked below:

Last of His Tribe

The Dispossessed

Son of Mine

Aboriginal Charter of Rights

Aboriginal Australia by Jack Davis

Shame by Kevin Gilbert (as well as many other poems)

Beds Are Burning (song)

First-born by Jack Davis (poem); The Black Tracker by Jack Davis (poem); Integration by Jack Davis (poem) IN 820.8 MAC Macquarie Pen Anthology of Australian Literature p. 622 – 626

Redfern by Kevin Gilbert (poem)

Me and Jackomari Talkin’ About Landrights by Kevin Gilbert (poem)

Song of Dreamtime by Kevin Gilbert (poem)

Aboriginal Cricketer by Les A. Murray IN 820.8 MAC Macquarie Pen Anthology of Australian Literature p. 808 – 809, 811

Took the Children Away by Archie Roach (song) http://www.lyricsmania.com/took_the_children_away_lyrics_archie_roach.html

Gurindji Petition to Lord Casey, Governor General by Vincent Linguiri 

305.8994 DEA Some Signposts From Dagaragu: The Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture by Sir William Deane

From Little Things Big Things Grow by Paul Kelly & Kev Carmody (song) http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/p/paul_kelly/from_little_things_big_things_grow.html

For I Come – Death in Custody by Lionel Fogarty (poem)

NOVELS and NON-FICTION (in Aquinas Library):

Danalis, John, 305.89 DANRiding the Black Cockatoo All through his growing-up years, John Danalis’s family had an Aboriginal skull on the mantelpiece; yet only as an adult … did he ask his family where it came from and whether it should be restored to its rightful owners. This is the compelling story of how the skull of an Aboriginal man, found on the banks of the Murray River more than 40 years ago, came to be returned to his Wamba Wamba descendants.


Dingo, Sally, 929.2 DIN – Dingo: The Story of our Mob

Emerging from her middle-class existence in a sleepy Tasmanian town a young white woman marries a charismatic actor and the turbulent Ding tribe. Lovingly embraced by her new Aboriginal family, they begin to yarn and she begins to write their stories down…


Freeman, Cathy, 796.42092 FRECathy: Her own Story

For the first time, in her own words, Cathy Freeman tells the story of her remarkable life. With characteristic honesty she talks about growing up black in a white world, about her large, close-knit family, her complicated relationship with Nick Bideau, marriage to Sandy Bodecker and their painful separation. She talks about how it feels to represent your country, the price of fame, and the real reasons behind her heart-wrenching decision to retire.

French, Jackie F FRENanberry: Black Brother White

It’s 1789, and as the new colony in Sydney Cove is established, Surgeon John White defies convention and adopts Nanberry, an Aboriginal boy, to raise as his son. Nanberry is clever and uses his unique gifts as an interpreter to bridge the two worlds he lives in. With his white brother, Andrew, he witnesses the struggles of the colonists to keep their precarious grip on a hostile wilderness. And yet he is haunted by the memories of the Cadigal warriors who will one day come to claim him as one of their own. This true story follows the brothers as they make their way in the world – one as a sailor, serving in the Royal Navy, the other a hero of the Battle of Waterloo. No less incredible is the enduring love between the gentleman surgeon and the convict girl, saved from the death penalty, to become a great lady in her own right.

Gare, Nene, F GARThe Fringe Dwellers

This is the story of two half-caste aboriginal sisters, Noonah and Trilby. Noonah accepts her position as a dweller on the fringe of Australian society but Trilby refuses to.


Grant, Stan, 305.89915 GRAThe Tears of Strangers: A Memoir

In the 1980s, Grant would begin a career in journalism that would take him to a position of national prominence. As a reporter he has travelled all over the world, interviewing the likes of Arafat, Clinton, Blair, Adams and Saddam. He has seen despots and tin-pot revolutionaries; madmen and saints; the glory of the Olympics and the despair of hundreds of years of conflict in Ireland and the Middle East. Now he turns to the biggest story of his career: his own story and the story of his people, the story of the Wiradjuri.

Gwynne, Phillip, F GWYDeadly Unna?

‘Deadly, unna?’ He was always saying that. All the Nungas did, but Dumby more than any of them. Dumby Red and Blacky don’t have a lot in common. Dumby’s the star of the footy team, he’s got a killer smile and the knack with girls, and he’s a Nunga. Blacky’s a gutless wonder, needs braces, never knows what to say, and he’s white. But they’re friends… and it could be deadly, unna? This gutsy novel, set in a small coastal town in South Australia is a rite-of-passage story about two boys confronting the depth of racism that exists all around them.

Gwynne, Phillip, F GWYNukkin Ya

Nukkin Ya is the sequel to Deadly, Unna?. Fifteen-year-old Gary Black, ‘Blacky’, isn’t sure what he wants or where he is going. The one thing he does know is that he wants to escape the small country town he’s grown up in.


Heiss, Anita & Minter, Peter (ed.),  820.8 MACMacquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature

A collection of Aboriginal writings from invasion to protectionism to the Stolen Generations, the Bark Petition, the tent embassy… The themes of stolen land, stolen wages, and stolen children run deeply through the entire anthology. Also present is family, and joy, and solidarity, and calls for reconciliation.


Jeffrey, Belinda, F JEFBrown Skin Blue
Two secrets rule my life. One is something I need to know and the other is something I need to forget. They won’t let me go.
Some people say you can’t death roll with a beast that has already survived a million years and live to tell the story.


Keneally, Thomas, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Book hire; Library copy on order)

McPherson, Sue, F MCPGrace Beside Me

Life is not ordinary for Fuzzy Mac, but it should be. What could possibly be exciting about growing up with her Nan and Pop in a small country town? Rivalry, romance, Nan’s mysterious premonitions, an encounter with a particularly unusual kind of ghost and the mix of characters who live in this high-country town make Fuzzy’s life far from boring.

Meehan, Donna 2000, 305.8 MEEIt is no secret: The Story of a Stolen Child

At the age of five, Donna was taken away from her natural family and sent to a foster family in Newcastle. Donna reflects back on her childhood memories of living in the bush with her brothers and her removal to the city, becoming an only child in a white family.


Morgan, Sally 2000 (1st pub. 1987), My Place

Looking at the views and experiences of three generations of indigenous Australians, this autobiography unearths political and societal issues contained within Australia’s indigenous culture. Sally Morgan traveled to her grandmother’s mother and grandmother, allowing them to tell their own stories.


Norrington, Leonie, F NORThe Spirit of Barrumbi

This book is about friendship and saving people. A flood has come, and the Spirit of Barrumbi is angry because Sean went into Death Adder Ridge. Many monsoons and rains follow, and the Old Men are very angry at Sean for this. The raging waters will try at all costs to take a life, but which one will it be?

Pearson, Noel, 323.119 PEAUp from the Mission

Up from the Mission charts the life and thought of Noel Pearson, from his early days as a native title lawyer to his position today as one of Australia’s most influential figures. This is writing of great passion and power, which introduces a fascinating man and a compelling writer.


Pilkington, Doris 305.8994 PIL – Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence

This extraordinary story of courage and faith is based on the actual experiences of three girls who fled from the repressive life of Moore River Native Settlement, following along the rabbit-proof fence back to their homelands. Assimilationist policy dictated that these girls be taken from their kin and their homes in order to be made white. Settlement life was unbearable with its chains and padlocks, barred windows, hard cold beds, and horrible food. Solitary confinement was doled out as regular punishment. The girls were not even allowed to speak their language. Of all the journeys made since white people set foot on Australian soil, the journey made by these girls born of Aboriginal mothers and white fathers speaks something to everyone.

Pilkington, Doris 994.104 PILHome to Mother

When Gracie, Daisy and Molly are taken from their mother and sent away to the Moore River Settlement, thousands of miles from their home country, they decide to escape. But when the only way home is along a rabbit-proof fence, and you re being chased by the police, escaping is just the start of your adventure.This younger reader’s version of Doris Pilkington’s amazing best-selling true story of courage and love will grab readers of all ages, and take them on a journey through a country as beautiful as it is harsh. A journey home.

Pryor, Boori (Monty), 305.8994 PRY Maybe Tomorrow

From the Aboriginal fringe camps of his birth to the catwalk, basketball court, DJ console and more—this is a new anniversary edition of Boori Monty Pryor’s life, his pain, his joy, and his hopes, and is as powerful now as it was when it was first published in 1998. Boori Monty Pryor’s career path has taken him from the Aboriginal fringe camps of his birth to the catwalk, the basketball court, the DJ console, and now to performance and story-telling around the country.

Scott, Kim, F SCOThat Deadman Dance

Set in the early 19th century in the area around what is now Albany, WA, the book explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and the first European settlers. The novel’s hero is a young Noongar man named Bobby Wabalanginy. Clever, resourceful and eager to please, Bobby befriends the new arrivals, joining them hunting whales, tilling the land, exploring the hinterland and establishing the fledgling colony. But slowly – by design and by accident – things begin to change. Not everyone is happy with how the colony is developing. Stock mysteriously start to disappear; crops are destroyed; there are “accidents” and injuries on both sides. As the Europeans impose ever stricter rules and regulations in order to keep the peace, Bobby’s elders decide they must respond in kind. A friend to everyone, Bobby is forced to take sides: he must choose between the old world and the new, his ancestors and his new friends. Inexorably, he is drawn into a series of events that will forever change not just the colony but the future of Australia.

Silvey, Craig, F SIL – Jasper Jones

Late on a hot summer night in 1965, Charlie Bucktin is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Jasper takes him to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery… vainly attempting to restore the parts that have been shaken loose, Charlie learns to discern the truth from the myth, and why white lies creep like a curse.

Sykes, Roberta, 305.8994 SYK Snake Dancing

This second volume of Sykes’ three-volume autobiography covers her increasing politicization and involvement in the Black movement through to an invitation from Harvard to postgraduate study. Events include her appointment as Australia’s first Aboriginal columnist and a trip with Germaine Greer.


Winch, Tara June, F WINSwallow the Air

When May’s mother dies suddenly, she and her brother Billy are taken in by Aunty. However, their loss leaves them both searching for their place in a world that doesn’t seem to want them. While Billy takes his own destructive path, May sets off to find her father and her Aboriginal identity. Her journey leads her from the Australian east coast to the far north, but it is the people she meets, not the destinations, that teach her what it is to belong.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *