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Books That Have Helped Me Understand Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Suffering.

Reconciliation Week being earlier this week plus the heart wrenching death of George Floyd in the USA has triggered, amongst other things, reflection on my childhood.

I spent most of my childhood in a small town in the hinterlands of far north Queensland (the rest was spent in Melbourne, quite the contrast). I was aware of many aboriginal and islander people in our local community being unhappy and suffering, but I didn’t really understand why. I remember having to lock my school bag so my lunch wouldn’t get stolen (by hungry children), happily walking home from school with a fellow friend who was aboriginal but never having any play dates together (social conditioning), aware of queues outside the pub during certain days of the month (when government support payments were paid)…amongst other things…but there were so many components and ongoings that I was unaware of.

I didn’t realise the horrific police brutality and prejudice that was going on until years later, whilst living in Melbourne, when there was an expose during prime time TV on the police in Kuranda. Reading various books has also helped me to understand the causes of their suffering and bring new light and understanding.

Below is a list of books that I highly recommend. They have helped me understand some of the suffering I could see as a child and that I still see as an adult. I hope that they might also help you and your children understand some of the history, culture and suffering of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Many thanks and I wish you all the best with your reading and your practice.

xx F

“Rainbow Serpent” - Dick Roughsey

“My Place” - Sally Morgan

Can be purchased through Booktopia:

“Nanberry” - Jackie French

Can be purchased through Booktopia:

“Maybe Tomorrow” - Boori Monty Pryor

“Follow The Rabbit-Proof Fence" - Nugi Garimara / Doris Pilkington

(Can also be viewed as a movie)

“I, The Aboriginal” - Douglas Lockwood

Can be purchased through Booktopia:

“Tell Me Why” - Archie Roach

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