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.
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.
Hi all you wonderful readers – Well the year is advancing and I hope you’re getting through your to-do list and leaving yourself time out to read your favourite book or spend some time in nature or do whatever refreshes you.
Barbara Miller re her 2 memoirs – White Woman Black Heart and Secrets and Lies – brief interview
HOLOCAUST HANDBOOK FOR SCHOOLS & ADULTS ON THE HOLOCAUST & ANTISEMITISM
I have finished writing this project for a Jewish organisation and it is being edited. The graphic design work will begin soon. We are hoping that it will receive favour from curriculum bodies and teachers will use it. If anyone can help with this project, please let me know.
The photo is of a plaque outside the Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre in Melbourne.
Brief Interview with author Barbara Miller re her books on William Cooper
BELOW COST SALE
WILLIAM COOPER GENTLE WARRIOR
Slashed from $29.95 to $7ea for September only.
Sales of 10 or more copies, the low price of $5 each
$12 Shipping for 1 copy. $2 extra for each additional copy.
Email me for direct sales at firstname.lastname@example.org
REEF AND RAINFOREST: AN ABORIGINAL VOICE THROUGH ART AND STORY
Munganbana’s work in creating this book is a perfect example of … connection to country. He has combined his personal, ancestral and spiritual experiences with a mix of traditional and contemporary art styles to help give us a greater understanding of the beauty, history and importance of the Reef.
Sheriden Morris, Managing Director Reef and Rainforest Research Centre
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?
Title of Book – Gulpilil
‘David is a gateway to a history that we’ve so far denied and not embraced. In this country, he’s more important than Ned Kelly.’ Jack Thompson
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that content inside this publication, contains images and the name of a person who has died. For cultural reasons, he is referred to as David Dalaithngu.
About the Author
David Gulpilil is a Yolngu man beloved around the world as a hunter, dancer, actor and artist. His preternatural acting in the films Walkabout, Storm Boy,Crocodile Dundee, The Tracker and Charlie’s Country – for which he won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes Film Festival and Best Actor at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards in 2014 – has allowed Gulpilil to transmit the worlds of the First Australians to screens with unrivalled magic and melancholy, and made him an icon of cinema.
Secrets and Lies: The Shocking Truth of Recent Australian Aboriginal History, A Memoir (First Nations True Stories)
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?
My book Secrets and Lies is often no 1 best seller on Amazon Australia as an ebook in Discrimination Constitutional Law, Public Law and Civil Law – 3 categories. It is currently no 1 in the Sociology of Race Relations in Amazon US and White Australia Has A Black History was no 2 beside it a couple of days ago.
Left – A fun photo of me putting my hands on Munganbana Norman’s Big Boomerang recently.
Right – I was invited to Courage to Care’s first event in Brisbane 5 June 2014 and am beside the William Cooper exhibit.
Hi all you wonderful readers – No doubt you are well and truly into your business of the new year with holidays left behind. But we trust you will still have some time out for the pleasure of reading.
Russian Invasion of Ukraine
A number of commentators are comparing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with Hitler’s invasion of European countries in World War 11 and wondering how far Putin will go to re-establish the USSR. People are also asking is the west having its Neville Chamberlain moment of appeasement?
Poland was not part of USSR as was Ukraine till 1991, but Poland will have bad memories of how it was treated by the Russians during and after World War 11. Surprisingly, perhaps, my book If I Survive covers some of that story. The reason for this is that I needed to piece together the information from Lena Goldstein, whose story it is, by doing a lot of background research to put it in context. So I will include some extracts here:
Excerpt of horrific story from If I Survive
The Nazis fought their way into Warsaw. Dead bodies were everywhere. They closed the schools, shut down the newspapers and concerts. The people loved music, but the city fell silent.
The Siege of Warsaw by the Germans began on 1 September 1939, one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, while the Soviet invasion of Poland commenced on 17 September. The Polish Warsaw Army (Armia Warszawa) defended Warsaw, the capital of Poland, as substantial aerial bombardments by the Luftwaffe rained down.
To offer what support she could (to her brothers who were sent to the east to fight), Lena went undercover as an actress with a troop of actors who happened to be going to Brest. She says:
“We were already on the Russian side, and people were coming back from the Russian side, saying, ‘Go back, go back because they’re killing people,’ especially Jews because they know the Jews are escaping from the Germans. They’re killing Jews because they know that everybody is selling all that they possess to run away from the Germans to the Russian side. It was dangerous.”
Lena’s sister Fela and her husband did not want to accept Russian citizenship. They were Polish citizens, and they wanted to go back to Poland. Angered, the Russians sent them to Siberia instead, as punishment. Russia had already been sent many dissidents to this remote place. Lena longed to find her sister, hold her in her arms, share sisterly stories, even to know she was alive and not suffering. But there was no word from her. It was as if a chapter of her life had closed. ……………………………
(Because of the Warsaw Uprising Aug-Oct 1944 led by the Polish home army or resistance timed for the retreat of the Germans and advance of the Soviets) The Germans reduced Warsaw to smoking ruins, the skeletons of burnt blocks of apartments surrounded by rubble and destroyed bridges sunk into the river. It was like a ghost town.
The Soviets paid the highest price to defeat the Nazis in Europe, losing more than 26 million troops, so the Allies didn’t want to upset them, and this accounted for their low-level support for their ally Poland. This lack of support was despite the fact that Polish pilots helped win the Battle of Britain in 1940, 115,000 Poles fought in Italy under British command, and after D-Day Poles fought on the western front. They also fought for Britain in the Middle East.
The Tehran Conference sealed the fate of Poland. It was a meeting between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in Tehran, Iran, between 28 November and 1 December 1943. It is reported that:
Stalin pressed for a revision of Poland’s eastern border with the Soviet Union to match the line set by British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon in 1920. To compensate Poland for the resulting loss of territory, the three leaders agreed to move the German–Polish border to the Oder and Neisse rivers. This decision was not formally ratified, however, until the Potsdam Conference of 1945. (Office of the Historian n.d.)
It seems the president of the Polish government-in-exile, Władysław Raczkiewicz, was not aware of this. Also, the Americans were keen to get Soviet support for the war against Japan. At the Yalta conference between the Americans, British and Soviets from 4 to 11 February 1945, the Allies withdrew support for the Polish government-in-exile and Poland was allowed to become a Soviet satellite. Other decisions were made that enabled a Soviet sphere of influence in Europe that led to the Cold War. Stalin said:
For the Russian people, the question of Poland is not only a question of honor but also a question of security. Throughout history, Poland has been the corridor through which the enemy has passed into Russia. Poland is a question of life and death for Russia. (The Latin Library n.d.)
After the war, Poland became a communist state and remained so until 1989. One occupying force was replaced by another. The Soviets persecuted the soldiers of the Home Army and the resistance fighters of the Warsaw Uprising as being anti-Soviet. Instead of being honoured as brave fighters, they were maligned. A monument to the Home Army was not built until 1989 when the Soviets lost control of Poland. Instead, the Soviet-backed People’s Army was glorified. the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), Stalin’s secret police, or the Office of Security (UB), the Polish political police, captured many Home Army fighters, eradicating opposition to post-war communist Poland. The UB operated from 1945 to 1954. They imprisoned the soldiers on charges such as fascism and sent many to Gulags. However, memories of the uprising and lack of Soviet support for them motivated the Polish labour movement, Solidarity, which led to peaceful opposition against the Polish communist government in the 1980s.
In Poland now, 1 August is a celebrated anniversary. On the fiftieth anniversary of the (Warsaw) uprising, in 1994, Poland held a ceremony and invited the German and Russian presidents. Russian President Boris Yeltsin didn’t attend but German President Roman Herzog visited and was the first German statesman to apologise for German atrocities against Poland during the uprising. “
The story of how Australian Aboriginal William Cooper led a group of Aborigines to the German Consulate in Melbourne in 1938 to protest the Holocaust or Shoah is toldhere.
William Cooper was a pioneer for the rights of Indigenous people in Australia, being the father of NAIDOC, working with key leaders to hold the Day of Mourning on the 150th anniversary of British settlement in 1938 and petitioning the King of England for better conditions for Indigenous people as well as representation in federal parliament. Read more about himhere.
Summer or winter, autumn or spring, pick up a book. Review of White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon by author Barbara Miller
This is a personal memoir recording biographical details which illuminates many aspects of contemporary Australian history. Miller takes us on a fascinating journey from her working class background and her spiritual and political awakening through to her involvement in Anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
This is woven around her coverage of her involvement with helping to re-establish Mapoon in 1974. Miller gives an insightful treatment of how and why she became engaged in social justice issues in the 1970s. This was a period of major social change in Australia when there was no internet or digital technology and yet Miller manages to convey the passion and commitment of the times. It is apparent that her social activism is guided and motivated by her faith.
The atrocious treatment of the residents of Mapoon when the Director of Native Affairs used police-state tactics to remove them in 1963 from their traditional lands, is both heart-breaking and uplifting. The author shows great sensitivity, respect, and understanding and manages to convey the petty-fogging autocratic paternalistic control of Indigenous people, which pervaded the period of the Bjelke-Petersen era. One can see what Aboriginal people had to contend with and how, with the re-establishment of Mapoon, a most positive success story has finally been achieved. This is an engrossing and compassionate memoir of an extraordinary woman who through her actions demonstrates what can be achieved through persistent commitment and faith.
Dr Timothy Bottoms, author of Conspiracy of Silence, Queensland’s frontier killing times (Allen & Unwin 2013) and CAIRNS, City of the South Pacific, A History 1770-1995 (Bunu Bunu Press 2016).
Check White Woman Black Heart out as it is only $2.99 US for the ebook. Look here.
Right – I am with my husband Norman at the Queensland Literary Awards ceremony in Brisbane where my book White Woman Black Heart was a finalist for the main award – the Premiers’ Award for a Work of State Significance. My brother Greg and sister-in-law Lynne are behind us.
Left – My follow up memoir, Secrets and Lies (2021) which is doing well on Amazon Aust. For a closer look, click here
The Shocking Truth of Recent Aboriginal History, A Memoir”, by Barbara Miller is a heartfelt historical and personal account about the Aboriginal people of Australia. It is a story about their fight to preserve their ancestral land, their culture, and customs. It is a fight against big mining companies and their very rough treatment of the Government.
This is the third book about the Australian Aboriginal people that by Barbara Miller that I have read. It is as if one is sitting around a fireplace night after night, and being taken back in time. What makes it special is the depth of researched material, and the detailed references from newspapers, conferences, meetings, and quotes.
The reader also gets an insider’s view of the cultural clashes in the Australian society. On one hand, the values of innovation, disruption, and change are desirable. Yet, the indigenous people valued security, conformity, and stability. There are some very shocking revelations in the book, such as the Government policies of withholding wages of the indigenous employees or disallowing the Aboriginal people to receive a formal education beyond a few years …
by Monica Rubombora, South African author
BOOK OF THE MONTH FEATURE
The #1 New York Times bestseller. Over 3 million copies sold!
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To commemorate the anniversary of Kristallnacht or the Night of the Broken Glass and the response by Australian Aboriginal William Cooper in leading the Australian Aborigines’ League on one of the few private protests worldwide against Kristallnacht, I have a $10 discount on my William Cooper Gentle Warrior book with free shipping in Australia. – https://barbara-miller-books.com/
FREE EBOOK SHATTERED LIVES BROKEN DREAMS
To raise awareness about the horror of Kristallnacht and the Holocaust and to let people know the amazing story about how Aboriginal people in faraway Australia, led by William Cooper, protested the treatment of Jews by the Nazis, I have my book Shattered Lives Broken Dreamsfree as an ebook for 5 days. Kristallnacht was 9-10 Nov so my book will be available free from Monday, November 8, 2021, 12:00 AM PST (Pacific Time, USA) to Friday, November 12, 2021, 11:59 PM PST. Bear in mind the US is 19 hours behind Sydney time. Here is the link to get your copy so share this with your friends and please let your organisation know – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084Q4SSTX
WHAT HAPPENED AT KRISTALLNACHT?
It is the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht on November 9 when the sounds of breaking glass shattered the lives of many Jewish people in Germany, Austria, and Sudetenland. It was the start of the Holocaust, a turning point in the history of antisemitism that would lead to mass genocide. Gangs of Nazi storm troopers destroyed 7,000 Jewish businesses, set fire to more than 900 synagogues, killed 91 Jews, and deported some 30,000 Jewish men to concentration camps. While the official death toll was 91, it may have been in the hundreds. Their resilience in the face of this horror is a tribute to Jewish people. We say never again. If we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat it.
Despite Aborigines not being citizens in their own land, William Cooper led them to the German Consulate in Melbourne on 6 December 1938 in a protest against the treatment of Jews. They knew what oppression was like. Cooper, a Christian, and his people, the Yorta Yorta tribe, many of whom were also Christian, related to the Jews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. William Cooper was honoured at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem in December 2010 and my husband Norman and I were privileged to be there with his descendants to witness the event.
Hi all you wonderful readers – It was an effort to get this newsletter out because I am in my 11th day of being sick with a painful bacterial infection of my leg called cellulitis. After a couple of short stints in hospital and some home nursing from the hospital, I am slowly on the mend at home with antibiotics. I know some of you are in lockdown because of covid. Not an easy situation but I wish you all the best and hope you can take some time out to read.
Announcement My new book Secrets and Lies: The Shocking Truth About Recent Aboriginal History, A Memoir, is available on Amazon for 2.99 US as an ebook. The print book will be available from my website for Australians or from Amazon worldwide. Here is the link – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B095SDW3LY
I would love some reviews on Amazon please and for you to share about it on social media. IRealesedon 3 July, it has been no 1 best seller in a number of categories and no. 1 new release in a lot of categories – Civil Law, Public Law, Constitutional Law Discrimination, International Treaties, Sociology of Race Relations, Civil Rights, Australian and NZ History, Australian and Oceanian Politics, Study and Teaching and Education Reference.
I have done interviews with Cairns ABC, The Cairns Post where it was front page as well as inside, Torres Strait Islander Radio, Bumma Bippera Radio and National Indigenous Radio Service and Vision Christian Radio. Below are photos of me with my new book banner outside Munganbana Aboriginal Art Gallery and my article in The Cairns Post. Norman photocopied it with the QR code to my website
BOOK OF THE MONTH
God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in troubled times by Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of The Australian newspaper.
At a time of crisis for Christianity in the West, God is Good for You shows just why we need faith in our world.
The Judeo-Christian tradition has created and underpinned the moral and legal fabric of Western civilisation for more than 2000 years, yet now we’ve reached a point in both Australia and many parts of the West where Christianity has become a minority faith rather than the mainstream belief. It’s a situation that’s fraught both for Christians and our wider society, where the moral certainties that were the foundation of our institutions and laws are no longer held by the majority.
At this point of crisis for faith, God is Good for You shows us why Christianity is so vital for our personal and social well-being, and how modern Christians have never worked so hard to make the world a better place at a time when their faith has never been less valued. It carries a vital torch for Christianity in a way that’s closely argued, warmly human, good humoured yet passionate, and, above all, convincing.
Interview I did with Vision Christian Radio Australia
Vision radio Q and A
Authors depend on reviews so I help other authors out with reviews when I can so I have decided to feature a few occasionally in case you’re interested. They are usually inexpensive and quick to read as ebooks on amazon.
Instead of the reviews this month, I have included an exciting opportunity for you with a feature called – BOOKS YOU MIGHT LIKE. They are from other non fiction authors. Check it out now – https://storyoriginapp.com/to/RWP8CwX
Books on Yarrabah, Mapoon, William Cooper and de Quiros
It is also the 10th anniversary of the honouring of William Cooper at Yad Vashem with a Chair of Resistance to the Holocaust being named after him and my husband Norman and I were privileged to be there for that event.
White Australia Has A Black History and Shattered Lives Broken Dreamsare on sale on Amazon as ebooks from December 5 at 8am PST to Dec 12 at 12am PST. It is a kindle countdown sale so the price starts at 99c USD if you get in quickly and progressively goes up.
Convert Pacific Standard Time (PST) to AEDT or your own time zone on https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/pst-to-aest-converter
You can also get the above paperback books from my website. You can get the original paperback of the William Cooper story “William Cooper Gentle Warrior: Standing Up for Australian Aborigines and Persecuted Jews” from my website with free shipping – https://www.barbara-miller-books.com
82nd Anniversary of Australian Aborigines’ League’s Kristallnacht Protest (Free event) 6 Dec 1.30 pm AEDT. Online event also.
The William Cooper Legacy Project invites you to a screening of our new video on the 82nd Anniversary of the very day that the Australian Aborigines’ League marched in protest to the German Consulate, back in 1938.
Arrive at 1.30pm for formalities preceding the World Premiere at 2pm (AEDT) Screening Sunday 6 December
at Temple Beth Israel Synagogue, 76-82 Alma Road, St Kilda
All Covid-Safe protocols will be strictly in place – please be prepared to Sign-In, Sanitise, Wear Your Mask and be seated where directed.
In preparation for this Sunday’s 2020 event, the German Government of today, on behalf of Chancellor Angela Merkel, were invited to reflect on the impact of the visit by William Cooper’s grandson, Uncle Boydie, to Berlin in 2017. Chancellor Merkel has now issued an unprecedented Apology for Germany’s 1938 actions… about what happened at the Melbourne Consulate on 6 December 1938.
Womenjika and Shalom
On Sunday 6th December, will be the 82nd anniversary of an act of great moral leadership, where an Upstanding group of Aboriginal people took a stance on behalf of a distant population of persecuted Jews – that has since brought together 2 communities, who now Walk Together in solidarity evermore, connecting and healing.
And 10 years ago saw two seemingly-random and disparate events occur again on opposite sides of the world:
– In Jerusalem in December 2010, the most significant Holocaust Memorial in the world, Yad Vashem, hosted a group of 10 Aboriginal people along with then-Foreign Minister of Australia, the Hon Kevin Rudd, as he unveiled a Chair of Resistance and Resilience to the Holocaust, honouring an Australian from the Yorta Yorta “mob”, a man who lived many years at a place called Cummeragunja.
– And back in Australia in 2010, on Country, there was the Premiere of the Short Black Opera Company production of Pecan Summer, telling the story of the “Walk-Off” by a group of Aboriginal activists, from that very same Aboriginal Mission, Cummeragunja.
Both of these events have huge and fascinating back-stories – which each weave their way to a remarkable organisation called the Austalian Aborigines’ League, explored for us by educator and orator, Dr Lois Peeler AM.
This year, on 6 December 2020, the story will be told, including footage and photography from that (and other) trips to Israel, and to Berlin, Belgium and even Buckingham Palace.
Amongst other appropriate entertainment, you will get to witness the Prelude “Pecan Summer”, composed by Yorta Yorta’s Prof Deborah Cheetham and performed by the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra conducted under the Jewish community’s Dr David Kram.
Additional celebrity performances include Kate Ceberano, Lior and Paul Grabowsky, along with multilingual productions of cultural music like Ngarre Burra Ferra and the Partisan’s Song.
Barbara Miller launching her 2 books on William Cooper the Sydney Jewish Museum Feb 2020. Barbara wrote “White Australia Has A Black History” and “Shattered Lives Broken Dreams”. The first focuses on William Cooper and the Australian Aborigines’ League’s Aboriginal activism and the second on their activism for Jewish people re their Kristallnacht protest at the German Consulate in Melbourne 6 Dec 1938.