Barbara Miller Books Newsletter Nov 2022 No 2

FREE ART PRINT 

My husband Munganbana Norman Miller and I are a creative duo. I am a writer and he is a rainforest Aboriginal artist. However, he is an internationally acclaimed author too. He wants to share his art with you. He says:

I’m giving my art print away for free. No kidding!
 
As a rainforest Aboriginal artist, I live and breathe the rainforest, hear its soothing sounds and get strength from walking on it barefoot and touching its healing leaves.
 
The collection on offer is called “The Rainforest Collection”, and is perfect to bring that
breath of fresh air and beauty from the rainforest into your life and home.
 
My prints are part of the 200 paintings in my book “Reef and Rainforest: An Aboriginal Voice Through Art and Story” that won an international award.
 
Looks like I’m being mobbed with orders but I don’t want to leave you out.
 
If you want to learn more, see the full collection of art and choose your free print,
click this link https://www.artprintsbymunganbana.com/

BOOK LAUNCH WED 30 NOV 6PM MUNGANBANA ABORIGINAL ART GALLERY 33 LAKE ST CAIRNS OF BOOK SECRETS AND LIES: THE SHOCKING TRUTH OF RECENT AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL HISTORY, A MEMOIR. 

This book was no 1 on Amazon USA in the Civil Rights and Liberties category on the weekend.

Check it out here

 

This book has previously been launched on zoom only because of COVID so we are taking the opportunity of presenting the prizes for a Big Boomerang Colouring In Competition for primary and high school students in Cairns and region that we have organised to combine events. The competition is to build awareness of a project we are promoting to build a Big Icon in Cairns like the Big Pineapple, the Big Banana, the Big Prawn etc. It would be Australia’s only Big Icon focusing on  Indigenous heritage. Prizes for the Colouring In Competition are family passes to Green Island on the Big Cat, Event Movies and Ten Pin Bowling and vouchers for accommodation at Coconut Resort and food at McDonalds and the Coffee Club. Norman and Barbara will also be giving away books. 

REVIEW OF SECRETS AND LIES

 

Secrets and Lies: The Shocking Truth of Recent Aboriginal History, A Memoir, is both a political chronicle and a personal memoir – a journey the young Barbara took into political activism and personal transformation, which became life-long. Barbara Miller shows the political and the personal can be two sides of a life journey of service.There is critical history in this book from an activist on the inside.  Yet the book also shows that political activism is not enough. It must be balanced by personal integrity and pursuit. The journey from the political into the personal, with fulfillment in spiritual practice, is also illuminating. Can we do one without the other?  I think not, whatever the spiritual practice is. 

Barbara’s book bought memories of the days of the Aboriginal Co-ordinating Council (ACC), both of us working at different levels within the ACC to respond to the directions and needs of the old reserve mission controls moving into deeds of grant in trust and ‘self-management’. Barbara’s political background provided essential insight and sound analysis. Mine saw the failure of the services delivered by a racist regime, with the ACC working to meet their legislative responsibilities. Barbara supported this work through research. Hers has been an inspirational journey of service at many levels.

Judy Atkinson, Emeritus Professor, PhD AM

Plenty of books to choose from in the Miller Collection

Left – Norman and Barbara with William Cooper Gentle Warriorbook and right – Lena Goldstein on her 100th birthday as Norman and Barbara present her with Barbara’s book on Lena’s life story –  If I Survive.

Barbara Miller Books Newsletter Nov 2022

Munganbana Norman Miller Rainforest print collection four panels

FREE ART PRINT 

Would you like the freshness and tranquility of the rainforest in your home? This is an opportunity to have a free gift of a print by rainforest Aboriginal artist Munganbana Norman Miller. Choose your favourite and enjoy. At the same time, help the artist get his beautiful work more widely known. Please feel free to forward on this great opportunity. Check here for more details – https://www.artprintsbymunganbana.com/
 
Munganbana Norman Miller in tropical garden with Rainforest prints
Munganbana means Mountain Water and aptly describes his work – powerful and peaceful – and the land from which he comes – crystal cascades and volcanic lakes. Munganbana is of the Jirrbal, Bar-Barrum and Tableland Yidinji tribes of the North Queensland rainforest, a World Heritage-listed area. He specializes in limited edition lino prints, acrylic on canvas, greeting cards, batik wall hangings, batik dress lengths, and silk scarves. Munganbana has a workshop in his own gallery in Cairns, one of the few Aboriginal artist-owned galleries in the region and his work is very popular with international tourists. He regularly does art classes for schools or has school groups come into his gallery for workshops. He has a book with 200 paintings and stories to go with them. See https://munganbana.com.au/books/
 
Secrets and Lies Book promo - packed with political intrigue and brings to life an interesting period in history.
BOOK LAUNCH WED 30 NOV 6PM MUNGANBANA ABORIGINAL ART GALLERY 33 LAKE ST CAIRNS OF BOOK SECRETS AND LIES: THE SHOCKING TRUTH OF RECENT AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL HISTORY, A MEMOIR. 
 

This book has previously been launched on zoom only so we are taking the opportunity of presenting the prizes for a Big Boomerang Colouring In Competition for primary and high school students in Cairns and region that we have organised to combine events. The competition is to build awareness of a project we are promoting to build a Big Icon in Cairns like the Big Pineapple, the Big Banana, the Big Prawn etc. It would be Australia’s only Big Icon focusing on  Indigenous heritage. Prizes for the Colouring In Competition are family passes to Green Island on the Big Cat, Event Movies and Ten Pin Bowling and vouchers for accommodation at Coconut Resort and food at McDonalds and the Coffee Club. Barbara will also be giving away books. 

REVIEW OF SECRETS AND LIESThis passionate and deeply researched book shines a light on what Aboriginal really means. The author’s unique style of gonzo journalism is fascinating, and illustrates the power of on-the-ground reporting. Despite it being a work of history, this story feels incredibly timely, given the ongoing political battles for First Nation rights in other parts of the globe. All told, Secrets and Lies is an eye-opening and fearless reflection on a vital topic. 

Self-Publishing Review

Author Barbara Miller in her tropical garden with her book on William Cooper

BOOK PRICE SLASHED FROM $29.95 TO $7ea

Crazy discount for one more week only. William Cooper Gentle Warrior, a biography and history, is on sale and you can get 10 or more copies for the amazing price of $5 each – much less than what it costs to produce them. I have some special projects coming up that will make books on William Cooper in high demand so get in while you can. They will make great gifts and are good teaching tools. William Cooper started the first national Aboriginal organisation back in the 1930’s and was the father of NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Week.) He led his people on one of the few private protests worldwide against Kristallnacht, the start of the Holocaust. His legacy lives on and this book is highly acclaimed.

You can get it here – https://barbara-miller-books.com/

ANNIVERSARY OF KRISTALLNACHT 9-10 NOV

Shattered Lives Broken Dreams: William Cooper and Australian Aborigines Protest Holocaust covers the story of the Australian Aborigines’ League, led by William Cooper to protest Kristallnacht which he did on 6 Dec 1938 in a protest march to the German Consulate in Melbourne. They protested because the Nazis murdered 91 Jews, smashed the windows of numerous synagogues and Jewish businesses, set synagogues ablaze, and arrested thousands of Jews who they sent to concentration camps.  The book is on my website https://barbara-miller-books.com/ or on Amazon 

What was Kristallnacht or the Night of the Broken Glass? This is an excerpt from my book:

What happened that day in 1938 in Australia? A fire, not lit by arsons but by the Australian Government in 1949, burnt the pre-1939 records of the German Consulate in Melbourne. News reports of the 1938 event lay buried in archives for decades. What happened was hidden from our eyes. But when researchers unearthed it, the reverberations were felt as far away as Israel. It catapulted a humble Aboriginal man into the limelight, making him a hero, and it linked the hearts of Jews and Aborigines.
 

Let’s reconstruct it as best we can. It was Tuesday 6 December 1938. The German Consulate was at 419-425 Collins Street, in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. Collins Street was one of the most desired addresses in the city, and its Victorian architecture was imposing. World War 2 had not yet been declared. An elderly white-haired Aboriginal gentleman with a bushy white moustache named William Cooper made an appointment to see consular officials on 6 December at 11.30 am. However, he was just a name at that point. No doubt the Consulate would have seen the article in the The Argus newspaper on Saturday 3 December alerting them that this appointment was not so routine. The paper revealed that a deputation from the Australian Aborigines’ League (AAL) would meet with the German Consul to protest the “cruel persecution” of Jewish people and ask that they convey it to their government.

Perhaps it was a startled guard who first raised the alarm. A large group of Aborigines was fast approaching. It looked like a mob, not a deputation of two or three. They didn’t appear to have any weapons, but they were striding with purpose and getting closer. Would they try to overrun the Consulate? Bust their way inside? Damage any property? Perhaps their dark skin itself was threatening enough with Nazi Germany’s theories of the supremacy of the white race. 

The tension mounted. Gruff voices. Commands. Keep them out! Lock the door! We can’t meet with a rowdy mob! No telling what might happen. Don’t take any chances!

If the Consulate had not been located in a peaceful country like Australia, would warning shots have been fired over their heads – or worse?

By now, William Cooper and the AAL were close enough that the fierce determination in their eyes could be seen. This was the only protest march the AAL ever embarked on, and it was for Jewish people in faraway Europe, not for themselves, even though they were not citizens in their own land. Having lived under racism and discrimination in Australia, they felt empathy with another persecuted group. They were cut to the core by what happened to the Jewish people and wanted it to stop. They wanted to stand up and do whatever was in their power to stop the death and persecution of Jews.

Perhaps the Aborigines were simply met with silence and locked doors that day. Closed hearts; closed minds. Or maybe they received curt orders and shouts to disperse. Maybe William Cooper knocked on the door to no avail. Did he push the AAL’s protest letter under the door or did a security guard receive it? The letter has not survived, but its contents contained the AAL resolution recorded in The Argus:

“At a meeting of the Australian Aborigines’ League, a resolution was passed voicing, on behalf of the aborigines of Australia, a strong protest against ‘the cruel persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazi Government of Germany, and asking that this persecution be brought to an end.’

A deputation of aborigines who are members of the league will wait on the German Consul on Tuesday at 11.30 a.m. to present the resolution and ask him to convey it to his Government.”

Early that morning, they had gathered at William and his wife Sarah’s Footscray home. Today it has been renovated in the style of heritage houses that dated back to the 1880s by new owners. They would like to see it made into a museum as a tribute to William Cooper’s stand. It has a white picket fence, heritage iron lacework under the roof and over the verandah and a small garden in front with green bushes. Its wooden walls are painted yellow ochre with darker yellow ochre window frames. White lace curtains decorate the front windows. It is like a spruced-up step back in time. Amazing that when William Cooper lived here, he could not afford lighting or heating. He had no gas or electricity. He wrote numerous letters to politicians and newspapers by candlelight, sitting up in bed trying to keep warm in the very cold Melbourne winters. He gathered driftwood to keep a fire burning when he could.

William formed the Australian Aborigines’ League in 1932, formalising its structure in 1935. It became the first national organisation for Indigenous people and still exists today under the name of the Aborigines Advancement League. The earliest Aboriginal organisation in Australia was set up in 1924 by Charles Fred Maynard and called the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association (AAPA). Active only until 1927 due to police harassment and internal divisions, it was, nevertheless, a notable achievement.

The Cooper home was the venue for many of the meetings of the AAL, warming themselves in winter over hot soup and sitting close to a fire as they met in the front room of the house. Candles flickered on the mantelpiece. People like Lynch Cooper, William’s son, Thomas James, Shadrach James, Doug Nicholls, Margaret Tucker, Bill and Eric Onus, Caleb and Anne Morgan and white supporters Arthur Burdeau and Helen Baillee were the regulars William and Sarah hosted. These were among the people who likely marched with William that morning to the German Consulate although the AAL did not keep a list of names of those there that day. William would also walk to meeting places as he could not afford a car or public transport. He saved his pension money for stamps for his innumerable letters. But he was a proud man and did not complain …

William probably moved the motion as he was an avid reader of newspapers and tried to keep up with news in Australia and overseas. It was approved. There would have been a passionate discussion as William told them that the Nazis had murdered 91 Jews, smashed the windows of numerous synagogues and Jewish businesses, set synagogues ablaze, and arrested thousands of Jews who they sent to concentration camps. There would have been outrage mixed with tears.”


  
BOOK OF THE MONTH 

framers or hunter gatherers book

Farmers or Hunter-gatherers?: The Dark Emu Debate by Peter Sutton & Keryn Walshe has just been short-listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. This is interesting as it is a criticism of the controversial and acclaimed book called Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. The book description on Amazon says:

An authoritative study of pre-colonial Australia that dismantles and reframes popular narratives of First Nations land management and food production.

Australians’ understanding of Aboriginal society prior to the British invasion from 1788 has been transformed since the publication of Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu in 2014. It argued that classical Aboriginal society was more sophisticated than Australians had been led to believe because it resembled more closely the farming communities of Europe.

In Farmers or Hunter-gatherers? Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe ask why Australians have been so receptive to the notion that farming represents an advance from hunting and gathering. Drawing on the knowledge of Aboriginal elders, previously not included within this discussion, and decades of anthropological scholarship, Sutton and Walshe provide extensive evidence to support their argument that classical Aboriginal society was a hunter-gatherer society and as sophisticated as the traditional European farming methods.

Farmers or Hunter-gatherers? asks Australians to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal society and culture.

Read it here

Newsletter July 2022

Hi all you wonderful readers – May you find time to relax and read in the busy lives many of us lead. Reading biography can give us wonderful insights into the lives of others, seeing them go through their challenges and seeing the inspiring decisions and journeys they have had.

Reading history gives us a context for our lives and the lives of others and helps us have greater perspective on today and sense future possibilities. 

FREE PRINT OF THE COVER OF DYING DAYS OF SEGREGATION IN AUSTRALIA. i.e. THE ACTUAL PAINTING WITHOUT THE TEXT. IT’S CALLED DREAMS AND VISIONS AND IS WORTH $80. SEE www.munganbana.com.au for more information on it. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET IT? BUY A COPY OF THE BOOK FROM MY WEBSITE VIA GUMROAD AND I’LL MAKE SURE THE PRINT COMES WITH IT. HERE IS THE LINK https://barbara-miller-books.com/store/#dying-book. AS THE BOOK IS $24.99, THIS IS A GREAT DEAL!! 

DREAMS AND VISIONS

By Munganbana Norman Miller

This black and white print shows me thinking, dreaming, imagining, looking at the possibilities before me. I am musing, creating what might be. It is as if the circles are bubbles of thought and above them to the top left there are rivers of possibilities, stepping stones to the fulfilment of my dreams. On the right are vine leaves I can climb up into the future, the rainforest holding its treasures for me to find.


Amazon Review

The Dying Days of Segregation in Australia: Case Study Yarrabah (First Nations True Stories)
LitPick Book Reviews
Inspirational and an insightful look into Australian history
Format : Paperback

To most people in the United States, the word “segregation” will conjure up images of whites-only drinking fountains or, if being optimistic, the late leader Nelson Mandela. But this abhorrent situation of separating the races was not wholly unique to South Africa or post-Civil War America. In Australia, Aboriginal peoples suffered apartheid-like conditions that prevented full freedom, happiness, and social mobility.

The Dying Days of Segregation in Australia wastes no time letting readers know about the recently removed, yet vastly underreported, institutional barriers to equality. One man’s anecdote tells of a childhood spent sitting in the hard, uncomfortable seats in the back of a movie theater, since the soft canvas chairs in the front were only for white patrons. As if that wasn’t upsetting enough, his story takes a dark turn — even in the hospital, all of the white patients had to be seen first. It is clear that racism, especially when endorsed by the government, is a matter of life or death.

Author Barbara Miller’s clear historical approach, peppered with deeply emotional stories of the best and worst of mankind, is sure to appeal to people who want to better understand the complex, disturbing nature of racial hierarchies …

IT IS NAIDOC WEEK AND WILLIAM COOPER IS THE FATHER OF NAIDOC SO WHAT BETTER TIME THAN TO READ A BOOK ABOUT HIM.

White Australia Has A Black History talks about his work for the “uplift” as he called it, for Aboriginal Australians. National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee came about because a committed Aboriginal Christian named William Cooper persuaded the churches to institute Aboriginal Sunday which later became Aborigines Day, a secular observance and later NAIDOC week.

He got the National Missionary Council to promote an annual Aboriginal Sunday, the first of which was on 28 Jan 1940. Aboriginal Sunday, as a national day of observance for Aboriginal people ran from 1940 to 1954, being held the Sunday before Australia Day.

In 1955, the date changed to the first Sunday in July and became known as National Aborigines Day. In 1957, the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) was formed whose goal was to promote awareness of Aboriginal people, their cultures and their plight. In 1989, the title changed to NAIDOC Week to include Torres Strait Islanders in the national celebrations.

Join in your local celebrations and read about him here

William Cooper Gentle Warrior is available with FREE SHIPPING. Find it here.

William Cooper led the Australian Aborigines’ League on a protest march to the German Consulate in Melbourne against Kristallnacht, the start of the Holocaust, in 1938 even though Aboriginals were not citizens of Australia. 

Amazon Review

Shattered Lives Broken Dreams: William Cooper and Australian Aborigines Protest Holocaust (First Nations True Stories)
PAR
This novel may just change your life!
November 22, 2021
Format : Paperback | Verified Purchase

As an member of a multicultural family I cannot tell you how your story came so close the my heart. I read and learned the history of your country and who William Cooper was and how he fought for the rights of all. This is a history that I did not know. Ms. Miller you presented it in a manner that was easy to read, and from what I read of all the acolytes that I were on the Amazon page everyone talked about the life long journey you took to assure that the story was told correctly. I would like to thank you for this work that you have done, and for sharing that work with the rest of the world. It shows that people will listen. That changes can be made. It takes a few of to stand up, to share, to educate a few others, and they tell others and it grows. I was so blessed the day that I received your novel. I highly recommend it to others.

 

White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon, a Memoir
Amazon ReviewWhite Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon, A Memoir (First Nations True Stories)
Kindle Customer
Born of another race
October 9, 2021
Format : Paperback | Verified Purchase
Story of the aboriginal people of Australia as experienced by a white woman. Barbara Miller was raised by a typical Australian couple. Somehow though their attitudes and prejudices did not take root in her. Instead she became a champion for the rights and reparations due the Aboriginal people. She spent her life helping them legally establish those rights. She also married into that group.Check it out hereAmazon Review
Secrets and Lies: The Shocking Truth of Recent Australian Aboriginal History, A Memoir (First Nations True Stories)
Joy RS
A memoir with a punch
October 24, 2021
Format : Paperback | Verified Purchase
This is a frank and compelling story of a fight that should never have had to happen. Personal anecdotes are interwoven with a very important message for us all and the photographs bring it very close. This author’s writing about the marginalised people in Australia has always resonated with me. I am South African and witnessed the end of apartheid and the inclusion of every citizen as a human being with equal rights. It has, therefore, long angered me that other countries have legislation and social constructs that are just as draconian as those under apartheid yet parade themselves as democracies. I was so glad to read this book, which not only tells Australia’s story of human rights travesties but also demonstrates that there are solutions. It is at once heartbreaking and uplifting and should be required reading for everyone who thinks apartheid is South African only and that there are human beings who are in any way less than other human beings. I recommend this to you as well!

You can find it here 

Left – Barbara holding an early copy of Shattered Lives Broken Dreams

Right – Barbara with Jeremy Jones after she gave a lunchtime talk about her memoir White Woman Black Heart at the Sydney Jewish Museum.