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Essential First Nations readings

Did you catch Vogue's essential First Nations reading list recently? Are the titles on your to-be-read list?

We have many of them in the Library.

Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray

Heiss, Anita 
2022 
"Gundagai, 1852. The powerful Murrumbidgee River surges through town leaving death and destruction in its wake. It is a stark reminder that while the river can give life, it can just as easily take it away. Wagadhaany is one of the lucky ones. She survives. But is her life now better than the fate she escaped? Forced to move away from her miyagan, she walks through each day with no trace of dance in her step, her broken heart forever calling her back home to Gundagai.When she meets Wiradyuri stockman Yindyamarra, Wagadhaany's heart slowly begins to heal. But still, she dreams of a better life, away from the degradation of being owned. She longs to set out along the river of her ancestors, in search of lost family and country. Can she find the courage to defy the White man's law? And if she does, will it bring hope ... or heartache?Set on timeless Wiradyuri country, where the life-giving waters of the rivers can make or break dreams, and based on devastating true events, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams) is an epic story of love, loss and belonging." -- Inside front cover. 

Available in Main Library General (PR9619.4.H47 B55 2021)

After story

Behrendt, Larissa, 1969-, author. 
2021 
When Indigenous lawyer Jasmine decides to take her mother Della on a tour of England's most revered literary sites, Jasmine hopes it will bring them closer together and help them reconcile the past. Twenty-five years earlier the disappearance of Jasmine's older sister devastated their tight-knit community. This tragedy returns to haunt Jasmine and Della when another child mysteriously goes missing on Hampstead Heath. As Jasmine immerses herself in the world of her literary idols - including Jane Austen, the BronteŐą sisters and Virginia Woolf - Della is inspired to rediscover the wisdom of her own culture and storytelling. But sometimes the stories that are not told can become too great to bear. Ambitious and engrossing, After Story celebrates the extraordinary power of words and the quiet spaces between. We can be ready to listen, but are we ready to hear?¬†
Available at Main Library (PR9619.4.B44 A38 2021) 

Tell me why : the story of my life and my music

Roach, Archie, 1955-, author. 
2019 
A powerful memoir of a true Australian legend. 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 a few 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, Roach'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, Roach 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. Tell Me Why is a stunning account of resilience and the strength of spirit - and of a great love story. 
Available at Main Library General (DU123.3.R63 T45 2019) 

Dropbear 

Araluen, Evelyn, author. 
2021 
An innovative collection of poetry and prose from a vibrant new Indigenous voice on the Australian literary scene. 'I told you this was a thirst so great it could carve rivers. 'This fierce debut from award-winning writer Evelyn Araluen confronts the tropes and iconography of an unreconciled nation with biting satire and lyrical fury. Dropbear interrogates the complexities of colonial and personal history with an alternately playful, tender and mournful intertextual voice, deftly navigating the responsibilities that gather from sovereign country, the spectres of memory and the debris of settler-coloniality. This innovative mix of poetry and essay offers an eloquent witness to the entangled present, an uncompromising provocation of history, and an embattled but redemptive hope for a decolonial future. 
Available at Main Library General (PR9599.A73 D76 2021) 

Everything you need to know about the Uluru Statement from the Heart

Davis, Megan, 1975-, author. 
2021 
"We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future." On 26 May 2017, after a historic process of consultation, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was read out. This clear and urgent call for reform to the community from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples asked for the establishment of a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected in the constitution and a process of agreement-making and truth-telling. Voice. Treaty. Truth. What was the journey to this point? What do Australians need to know about the Uluru Statement from the Heart? And how can these reforms be achieved? Everything You Need to Know about the Uluru Statement from the Heart, written by Megan Davis and George Williams, two of Australia's best-known constitutional experts, is essential reading on how our Constitution was drafted, what the 1967 referendum achieved, and the lead-up and response to the Uluru Statement. Importantly, it explains how the Uluru Statement offers change that will benefit the whole nation. 
Available at Law Library General (KM 208.431 .K1 DAV 2021)

Song of the crocodile 

Simpson, Nardi, author. 
2020 
Darnmoor, The Gateway to Happiness. The sign taunts a fool into feeling some sense of achievement, some kind of end- that you have reached a destination in the very least. Yet as the sign states, Darnmoor is merely a gateway, a waypoint on the road to where you really want to be. Darnmoor is the home of the Billymil family, three generations who have lived in this 'gateway town'. Race relations between Indigenous and settler families are fraught, though the rigid status quo is upheld through threats and soft power rather than the overt violence of yesteryear. As progress marches forwards, Darnmoor and its surrounds undergo rapid social and environmental changes, but as some things change, some stay exactly the same. The Billymil family are watched (and sometimes visited) by ancestral spirits and spirits of the recently deceased, who look out for their descendants and attempt to help them on the right path. When the town's secrets start to be uncovered the town will be rocked by a violent act that forever shatters a century of silence. 
Available at Main Library General (PR9619.4.S5665 S66 2020) 

Fire country : how Indigenous fire management could help save Australia

Steffensen, Victor, author. 
2020 
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 holistic approach to the environment, and when burning is done in a carefully considered manner, this ensures proper land care and healing. 
Available at Main Library General (SD421.34.A8 S74 2020) 
 

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