Hi all you wonderful readers – May you find time to relax and read in the busy lives many of us lead. Whose interesting life story have you read lateley? Reading biography can give us wonderful insights into the lives of others, seeing them go through their challenges and seeing the inspiring decisions they have made and journeys they have had.
Do you have a favourite historical period or do you prefer current events? 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. I am greatly interested in both history and current events!! As others have said, if we don’t learn from our mistakes, we are likely to repeat them.
Yarrabah Statement in Support of Uluru Statement From the Heart by Megan Davis 10.4.22 and Garma Festival
The Garma Festival has been a media highlight in the last couple of days and a time of great celebration for the Yolngu and other Aboriginal people of Australia. It is a yearly time of displaying and enjoying Aboriginal culture through dance, story and song. It is also a time of serious discussions about current issues affecting First Nations people in Australia and Prime Ministers often attend. New Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese did just that and announced that a referendum will go ahead in this term of Parliament to ask the Australian people if they would change the constitution to include a First Nations voice to Parliament. There are prominent First Nations leaders supporting and not supporting it. What we have in this video is one of the architects of the Uluru Statement, Aboriginal lawyer Megan Davis speaking at Yarrabah Aboriginal community near Cairns. My husband Norman and I were invited to attend by the mayor of Yarrabah, Ross Andrews. The team working on the Voice from around Australia met in Cairns and then in Yarrabah in April. One of the reasons for this was to honour Alf Neal and the Yarrabah community for their tremendous support of the 1967 referendum which enabled First Nations people to be counted in the census.
As the referendum for the Voice will be the first referendum for First Nations people held since the successful 1967 one, it was considered an important symbolic act to have the Voice referendum on the anniversary of the 1967 referendum victory. Hence the statement from Yarrabah that Megan Davis read out and is recorded here declaring that the referendum should be held in May 2023.
My book Secrets and Lies has a detailed discussion on Voice Treaty Truth and how we have got to our current situation. CHECK IT OUT HERE
This is an excerpt from a recent interview I did regarding my books on Aboriginal leader William Cooper. I have written 3 – William Cooper Gentle Warrior (2012) White Australia Has A Black History (2019) and Shattered Lives Broken Dreams (2020)
If I Survive: Nazi Germany and the Jews,100-Year-Old Lena Goldstein’s Miracle Story is available here
William Cooper Gentle Warrior: Standing Up for Australian Aborigines and Persecuted Jews is available with FREE SHIPPING. Find it here.
Re White Australia Has A Black History
But his people could not vote and were not even counted in the census. How could he get the government to listen to him? Would his skills in oratory, letter-writing and organizing his people into the first national black organization achieve his goals or would his activism bring backlash?
Betrayed by the Prime Minister who would not forward his petition to the King of England, Cooper joined with other leaders in Sydney for the 150th anniversary of white settlement and organized a protest called the Day of Mourning. This set in train the controversy that still surrounds Australia Day today. Cooper campaigned for the truth of the black history of white Australia to be told. He mentored future generations of leaders who are still calling for “voice, treaty, truth” today. This book covers the history of the struggle for First Nations peoples’ human rights from settlement to today.
William Cooper was born in 1860 to his tribal mother who saw the first white settlers come to the Murray River. Learn more
Re Shattered Lives Broken Dreams
The Nazis shatter glass and shatter the lives of European Jews at Kristallnacht, the start of the Holocaust. An Australian Aboriginal, William Cooper, leads the campaign for civil rights for his people who are dying of poverty and mistreatment around him. 1938; two worlds, far apart. Cut to the core after Kristallnacht, can he do anything to stop it?
Described as Australia’s Martin Luther King, Cooper leads the Australian Aborigines’ League on a protest to the German Consulate in Melbourne. Would the Third Reich pour out its wrath on them? Would they make a difference?
A Chair of Resistance to the Holocaust was named in honour of Cooper at Yad Vashem. His grandson, Alf Turner, becomes passionate about fulfilling his grandfather’s unfinished business and taking the protest to Berlin itself. How will he be received?
This true story will inspire you to stand up and be counted and to make a difference.
“Extensively researched and presented in a near novel-like manner” – Grady Harp Top Contributor: Children’s Books HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
“What will you like? Exceptionally interesting and astoundingly detail, including photos of many of the events that took place during the journey.” – DD GOTT – Donadees Corner
FIND IT HERE
BOOK OF THE MONTH FEATURE
Dear Son: Letters and Reflections from First Nations Fathers and Sons
By Thomas Mayor
Dear Son shares heartfelt letters written by First Nations men about life, masculinity, love, culture and racism. Along with his own vivid and poignant prose and poetry, author and editor Thomas Mayor invites 12 contributors to write a letter to their son or father, bringing together a range of perspectives that offers the greatest celebration of First Nations manhood.
This beautifully designed anthology comes at a time when First Nations peoples are starting to break free of derogatory stereotypes and find solace in their communities and cultures. Yet, each contributor also has one thing in common: they all have a relative who has been terribly wronged – enslaved, raped and dispossessed – because of their Aboriginality.
Featuring letters from Stan Grant, Troy Cassar-Daley, John Liddle, Charlie King, Joe Williams, Yessie Mosby, Joel Bayliss, Daniel James, Jack Latimore, Daniel Morrison, Tim Sculthorpe and Blak Douglas.
A gentle and loving book for families from anywhere in the world. Artwork by proud Kaurna/Ngarrindjeri/Narrunga/Italian Australian artist Tony Wilson, with illustrations and design by Gamilaraay designer Tristan Schultz of Relative Creative.
WHAT CAN I DO NOW THAT I HAVE A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
By Patina Malinalli
White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon, a Memoir
Melbourne, 1970’s. Twenty-three-year-old university student Barbara Miller always stood her ground, even when it made her an outcast in her own family. So when she became a radical Christian advocate for social change, she didn’t think twice about joining the movement for Aboriginal justice. Boldly relocating to tropical Cape York and linking up with a Black activist and mentor on the frontline, she plunged into a life-changing battle despite the State’s threat of legal prosecution.
In this powerful story of a people’s violent removal from their ancient land, Miller recounts how she joined a decade-long struggle to restore the Mapoon people to their beloved homeland. Working with a team of campaigners pushing against a hostile administration, she lands in the center of the explosive political climate of the Seventies. But by following her heart, the unexpected happens: She finds her true home and family in the most unlikely of places.
White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon is an eye-opening memoir that showcases critical events in Australian history. If you like cross-cultural relationships, real-life activism, and rising up against colonialism, then you’ll love Barbara Miller’s gripping story of fundamental human rights.
Secrets and Lies: The Shocking Truth of Recent Australian Aboriginal History, A Memoir (First Nations True Stories)
My book is a bestseller in the Discrimination Law category on Amazon Australia
Barbara Russell, a young woman from a white working-class family. A ruthless Premier Bjelke-Petersen enforcing legal discrimination. How could Barbara stand by and watch the feud of the people with governments and miners strip Australian Aboriginal communities of all they held dear? But what could she do to make a difference?
Would her passion make a way for her? Was she strong enough to face the full weight of the police state, resist the temptation of love, and stand up to her family too?
In this story of ideological conflict and racial discrimination laws, Barbara teams up with Mick, an Aboriginal schoolteacher. They organize remote Australian Aboriginal people to fight Bjelke and the mining companies that encroach on their land. But Bjelke has a few tricks up his sleeve and uses all in his powers in this police state to stop them. The strength of the Aboriginal people shines through the story but, if the Aboriginal people fail, more of them will die in poverty and desperation.
What price will the church pay for standing with Aboriginals against the government? Can they win this epic battle? Can the Aboriginals internationalize their struggle for human rights?
With the current debate in Australia of Voice Treaty Truth and the worldwide issue of Black Lives Matter, this book gives many key Aboriginal people a voice and reveals the shocking truth of the hidden history of 1975 to 2021 in a near-novel manner. Every important historical event is covered. This is one of the social justice books that you will want on your shelf. The political activism examples are not those of keyboard warriors but those of people who took to the trenches.
What secrets lie hidden? What lies are being told?
Historical memoir, Secrets and Lies is another sizzling story in the First Nations True Stories series. Because if you like fast-paced action, real-life heroes, and the window opened on another culture, this book is for you. If you like books with political intrigue that bring to life an interesting historical period, you’ll love Secrets and Lies.
Right – Barbara on the Duyfken boat replica in Perth at an earlier launch of her book The European Quest to Find Terra Australis Incognita: Quiros Torres and Janszoon. Both books are available from her website www.barbara-miller-books.com