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First Australians: an illustrated history

by: Edited by Rachel Perkins and Marcia Langton
published by: The Miegunyah Press

The First Australians is a long overdue account of the interaction between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals, told from the perspective of Australia’s first people. Beginning in 1788 with the complex relationship between the Wangal man, Bennelong, and the commander of the First Fleet, Captain Arthur Phillip, the book explores the nature of interactions from these earliest days through to the historic land rights decision of 1993 that was the culmination of Koiki Mabo’s legal challenge to the foundation of Australia.

Drawing on a wealth of historic records and illustrations, seven historians and writers with personal knowledge of Aboriginal culture and heritage offer an important interpretation of the history of the Australian nation through the eyes of its indigenous people and communities.

Events that have often been whitewashed from the teaching of Australian history are related, such as the Tasmanian war, the dispossession of the Kulin people following the settlement of Port Philip, and the resistance wars of Jandamarra and the Bunuba people in the Kimberley and Windradyne and the Wiradjiru people of the Bathurst plains. The stories are told of individual people, both black and white, who played their part in the gradual and sometimes faltering process of adjustment and acceptance between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.

Published in large format, the book offers superb full-colour reproductions of many of the most famous illustrations of Aboriginal people and culture at the time of contact, as well as historic black and white photographs.

The book is the companion publication to the to the outstanding SBS TV series, first shown late last year, and scheduled to be re-broadcast in March.

RRP: $89.99
Contact: http://www.mup.com.au/


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