Showing 1–12 of 15 results
Flinders: The Man Who Mapped AustraliaArtist/Author: Mundle, Rob
The fascinating story of the exceptional maritime explorer, Matthew Flinders – the man who put Australia on the map.
Shipwrecks, storms, death and danger – Matthew Flinders encountered it all on his courageous quest to circumnavigate and chart the treacherous Terra Australis coastline.
From the drama of epic voyages and devastating shipwrecks; his part in the naming of Australia; his cruel imprisonment by the French on Mauritius for six long and harrowing years; the heartbreaking separation from his beloved wife; and the comfort he got from his loyal cat, Trim; to his tragic death at just forty.
This is a gripping adventure biography that details the life of Flinders, a true hero whose name is forever woven into the fabric of Australian history.
Mallee Country: Land, People, HistoryArtist/Author: Broome, Richard, Charles Fahey, Andrea Gaynor, Katie Holmes
Mallee Country tells the powerful history of mallee lands and people across southern Australia from Deep Time to the present. Carefully shaped and managed by Aboriginal people for over 50,000 years, mallee country was dramatically transformed by settlers, first with sheep and rabbits, then by flattening and burning the mallee to make way for wheat. Government backed settlement schemes devastated lives and country, but some farmers learnt how to survive the droughts, dust storms, mice, locusts and salinity – as well as the vagaries of international markets – to become some of Australia’s most resilient agriculturalists. In mallee country, innovation and tenacity have been neighbours to hardship and failure.
Mallee Country is a story of how land and people shape each other. It is the story of how a landscape once derided by settlers as a ‘howling wilderness’ covered in ‘dismal scrub’ became home to citizens who delighted in mallee fauna and flora, and fought to conserve it for future generations. And it is the story of the dreams, sweat and sorrows of people who face an uncertain future of depopulation and climate change with creativity and hope.
The Gulf Country: The Story of People and Place in Outback QueenslandArtist/Author: Martin, Richard J
The story of the resilient people who make their home in Australia’s far north, from the ‘wild time’ of the frontier days to the present.
With its great rivers, grassy plains and mangrove-fringed coastline, Queensland’s remote Gulf Country is rich and fertile land. It has long been home to Aboriginal people and, since the 1860s, also to Europeans and to settlers with Chinese, Japanese and Afghan ancestry.
Richard J. Martin tells the story of a century-and-a-half of exploration and colonisation, the growth of cattle and mining industries, and the impact of Christian missionaries and Indigenous activism, through to the present day. He acknowledges the brutal realities of violence and dispossession, as well as the challenges of life on the land in northern Australia.
Drawing on extensive interviews with people across the Gulf Country, this is a lively and colourful account of tight-knit communities, relationships across cultures and resilience in the face of adversity.
Australia’s Original Languages: An IntroductionArtist/Author: Dixon, R. M. W.
An introduction to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages that explains their distinctive features accessibly for readers who have no previous experience with learning another language, and shows how language reflects traditional culture.
‘A must read for all who would like to understand the languages and culture of Indigenous Australians.’ Dr Ernie Grant, Elder of the Jirrbal nation
When Captain Cook landed at Botany Bay, about 250 distinct languages were spoken across the continent. Yet Australian Indigenous languages actually share many common features.
Bob Dixon has been working with elders to research Australian languages for half a century, and he draws on this deep experience to outline the common features. He provides a straightforward introduction to the sounds, word building, and wide-ranging vocabulary of Indigenous languages, and highlights distinctive grammatical features. He explains how language is related to culture, including kinship relationships, gender systems, and naming conventions.
With examples from over 30 languages and anecdotes illustrating language use, and avoiding technical terms, Australia’s Original Languages is the indispensable starting point for anyone interested in learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages.
‘Written in an accessible, easy to read style, Professor Dixon’s new book is an informative and entertaining introduction to Australia’s “original” languages.’ Dr Joe Blythe, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University
First Footprints: The Epic Story of the First AustraliansArtist/Author: Cane, Scott
First Footprints tells the extraordinary story of the Aboriginal people of Australia. How they made their way out of Africa 60,000 years ago, and how they survived across this vast continent, from the harsh deserts of the inland to the glaciers of southern Tasmania. With photos from the ABC TV series of the same name.Some 60,000 years ago, a small group of people landed on Australia’s northern coast. They were the first oceanic mariners and this great southern land was their new home. Gigantic mammals roamed the plains and enormous crocodiles, giant snakes and goannas nestled in the estuaries and savannahs.
First Footprints tells the epic story of Australia’s Aboriginal people. It is a story of ancient life on the driest continent on earth through the greatest environmental changes experienced in human history: ice ages, extreme drought and inundating seas. It is chronicled through astonishing archaeological discoveries, ancient oral histories and the largest and oldest art galleries on earth. Australia’s first inhabitants were the first people to believe in an afterlife, cremate their dead, engrave representations of the human face, and depict human sound and emotion. They created new technologies, designed ornamentation, engaged in trade, and crafted the earliest documents of war. Ultimately, they developed a sustainable society based on shared religious tradition and far-reaching social networks across the length and breadth of Australia.
Those Wild Rabbits: How They Shaped AustraliaArtist/Author: Munday, Bruce
A century ago Australia was home to 10 billion rabbits, thriving in their adopted home. Storyteller Bruce Munday finds the rabbit saga irresistible – the naive hopes of the early settlers, the frustration, environmental damage, cost to agriculture, dreams shattered, and the lessons learned and ignored.
Those Wild Rabbits highlights not only the damage done but also Australia’s missed opportunities for real rabbit control. It recognises the bush’s paradoxical love affair with an animal that was at one time a significant rural industry and is still recalled with nostalgia. More importantly, it offers hope for a brighter future, making the case for continued research to drive the next rabbit-control miracle, because rabbit plagues of the past will become the future unless we capture the history and embrace the lessons.
Awarded the Keain Medal for the South Australian Historical Book of the Year, 2017
The First Wave: Exploring Early Coastal Contact History in AustraliaArtist/Author: Dooley, Gillian, Danielle Clode (Editors)
The European maritime explorers who first visited the bays and beaches of Australia brought with them diverse assumptions about the inhabitants of the country, most of them based on sketchy or non-existent knowledge, contemporary theories like the idea of the noble savage, and an automatic belief in the superiority of European civilisation. Mutual misunderstanding was almost universal, whether it resulted in violence or apparently friendly transactions.
Written for a general audience, The First Wave brings together a variety of contributions from thought-provoking writers, including both original research and creative work. Our contributors explore the dynamics of these early encounters, from Indigenous cosmological perspectives and European history of ideas, from representations in art and literature to the role of animals, food and fire in mediating first contact encounters, and Indigenous agency in exploration and shipwrecks.
The First Wave includes poetry by Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal poet Ali Cobby Eckermann, fiction by Miles Franklin award-winning Noongar author Kim Scott and Danielle Clode, and an account of the arrival of Christian missionaries in the Torres Strait Islands by Torres Strait political leader George Mye.
Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search For Human AntiquityArtist/Author: Taylor, Rebe
This book is a winner of multiple literary awards.
In 1908 English gentleman, Ernest Westlake, packed a tent, a bicycle and forty tins of food and sailed to Tasmania. On mountains, beaches and in sheep paddocks he collected over 13,000 Aboriginal stone tools. Westlake believed he had found the remnants of an extinct race whose culture was akin to the most ancient Stone Age Europeans. But in the remotest corners of the island Westlake encountered living Indigenous communities.
Into the Heart of Tasmania tells a story of discovery and realisation. One man’s ambition to rewrite the history of human culture inspires an exploration of the controversy stirred by Tasmanian Aboriginal history. It brings to life how Australian and British national identities have been fashioned by shame and triumph over the supposed destruction of an entire race. To reveal the beating heart of Aboriginal Tasmania is to be confronted with a history that has never ended.
More Great Properties of Country Victoria: The Western District’s Golden AgeArtist/Author: Allen, Richard, Kimbal BakerReturn to the great mansions of the Western District with this book of remarkable histories and stunning photography
English novelist Anthony Trollope described the Western District squatters in the 1870s as ‘plentiful, proud, prejudiced, given to hospitality, impatient of contradiction … thoughtful on the future, and above all, conscious—perhaps a little too conscious—of their own importance … forty thousand sheep cannot be shorn without a piano; twenty thousand is the lowest number that renders napkins at dinner imperative’.
But these squatters were also speculators and investors, whose entrepreneuship built great wealth and elaborate mansions. Around their Georgian and Victorian homes they created an antipodean England, employing the best-known landscape architects of the day. The Western District today retains most of the renowned homesteads and gardens that date from these times.
This fascinating and beautiful book—sequel to the bestselling Great Properties of Country Victoria—takes us into the private world of thirteen more notable properties. Through their histories we follow their fortunes—extraordinary tales of risk and reward—and through the photographs see the splendour of great homes that have been lovingly maintained and carefully restored. It is a tribute to the past and present owners who have so painstakingly preserved their properties’ heritage.
Living with the Locals: Early Europeans’ Experience of Indigenous LifeArtist/Author: Maynard, John, Victoria Haskins
Living with the Locals comprises the stories of 13 white men, boys and women who were taken in by the Indigenous people of the Torres Strait islands and of eastern Australia and who lived in their communities between the 1790s and the 1870s, from a few months to over 30 years. The white people had been shipwrecked or had escaped the confines of penal servitude and survived only through the Indigenous people’s generosity. Many of them were given Indigenous names—Bunboé, Murrangurk, Duramboi, Waki, Giom, Anco. They assimilated to varying degrees into an Indigenous way of life—several marrying and learning the language—and, for the most part, both parties mourned the white people’s return to European life.
The stories in Living with the Locals provide a glimpse into Indigenous life at the point of early contact between Indigenous people and British colonists. It was a time when negative attitudes towards Indigenous people gave rise to misinterpretation of events and sensationalised versions of the stories. However, many of the white survivors spoke up against the appalling treatment of the Indigenous people, and advocated for conciliation and land rights. They also were unwilling to reveal Indigenous beliefs and customs to unsympathetic colonists.
The BushArtist/Author: Watson, Don
While most of us live in cities clinging to the coastal fringe, our sense of what an Australian is, or should be, is drawn from the vast and varied inland called the bush. But what do we mean by ‘the bush’, and how has it shaped us?
Starting with his forebears’ battle to drive back nature and eke a living from the land, Don Watson explores the bush as it was and as it now is – the triumphs and the ruination, the commonplace and the bizarre, the stories we like to tell about ourselves and the national character, and those we don’t.
A milestone work of memoir, travel writing and history, The Bush takes us on a profoundly revelatory and entertaining journey through the Australian landscape and character.
The Place for a Village: How Nature Has Shaped the City of MelbourneArtist/Author: Presland, Gary
Forgotten landscapes and erased eco-systems are brought to life by Gary Presland who so eloquently reconstructs Melbourne at the time of European settlement. He looks at the history of Melbourne from the point of view of nature and considers the ways that urban development has been influenced by the nature of local environments. Gary Presland shows how natural landscapes have influenced the contours of the city and how we, in turn, have altered them. He draws on both historical and scientific sources to create a detailed and fascinating picture of diverse landscapes, supporting an enormous range of flora and fauna.