Cowley, Jen with the Uluru Family

I am Uluru: A Family’s Story gives a glimpse into the hitherto untold story of the family entrusted as traditional owners and custodians of arguably Australia’s most iconic landmark – Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) and that country, which has been home to the Anangu (people of the Central Desert) for tens of thousands of years. The story begins at the relatively recent point in history known as “first contact” and follows the highs and lows of the family (and all Anangu’s) struggle to adapt to the increasingly European world while still holding on to their deeply traditional faith and way of life. Told with an intoxicating mix of personal recollection – in their own words – and well-researched and sensitively crafted creative and contextual narrative, the book takes the reader on a journey of discovery and enlightenment, but makes neither judgement nor conclusion – the reader is left to digest the knowledge and reach their own understanding. This book is not an exercise in finger pointing – it is simply one unique family’s contribution to the cultural landscape that has for too long been misunderstood, misrepresented and marginalised through a lack of understanding. The book is not an exercise in finger-pointing, it simply aims to open up as much of a traditional world as possible so that others might come to a place of greater understanding about the value of maintaining that sacred culture. Crafted over the course of three years of intensive contact on country with the elders of the Uluru family, the book has been described as “an important work”, “a great read”, “beautifully written”, “an emotional roller coaster” and “something all Australians should read”. First-person accounts from Uluru family members across three generations are stitched together with carefully researched contextual narrative and sensitively crafted creative storytelling to form a unique and well-rounded overview of a remarkable family’s history.  I am Uluru is not only a thought-provoking and page-turning read, it is a document of national cultural significance and a tool of genuine reconciliation.

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Omne Publishing, March 2019.  240 pages, paperback.