Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature
This Country Anytime Anywhere
Portraits From a Land Without People
Remembering the Future
How Aborigines Invented the Idea of Contemporary Art
What is Aboriginal art?
The Streets of Papunya
Business and Economy (3)
Aboriginal Business: Alliances in a Remote Australian Town
Aboriginal Economy and Society
How to Start a Successful Aboriginal Business in Australia
The Little Platypus and the Fire Spirit
Wunambi: The Water Snake
Alfie’s Search for Destiny
Bangu the Flying Fox
Good Morning, Mr Sarra
Fiction, Novels (44)
The Crocodile Hotel
The Nargun And The Stars
Swallow the Air
First Taste—How Indigenous Australians Learned About Grog
The Story of Yudum
A Doctor’s Dream
Possession: Settlers, Aborigines and Land in Australia
Triumph Of The Nomads
A Record in Stone: The Study of Australia’s Flaked Stone Artefacts
Survival in Our Own Land
Humour, Cartoons (2)
Shipwreck, Sailors and 60,000 Years
Discovering Aboriginal Plant Use
Dark Emu: Black Seeds
Protest, Land Rights and Riots
Invasion to Embassy
Aboriginal Australia Wall Map
Aboriginal ways of using English
Law & Justice (3)
Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment
Gone for a Song: Death and Desperation in the Deep North
Arresting Incarceration: Pathways out of Indigenous Imprisonment
Singing the Coast
Rob Riley: An Aboriginal Leader’s Quest for Justice
Riding The Black Cockatoo
Personal Reports and Experiences (27)
This Is What We Said
Orphaned by the Colour of My Skin
My Bundjalung People
Footprints: The Journey of Lucy and Percy Pepper
Fighting Hard—The Victorian Aborigines Advancement League
Everything You Need To Know About The Referendum To Recognise Indigenous Australians
Spirituality & Poetry (9)
Litte Bit Long Time
The Lamb Enters the Dreaming
Dizzy: The Jason Gillespie Story
Black and Proud
The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe
Textbooks, Teaching, Studies (42)
Gunyah, Goondie and Wurley
Beyond White Guilt
The Melbourne Dreaming
Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands
Are textbooks still useful?
Teaching has come a long way from purely textbook-based to spanning text, video, audio and games. With students’ attention spans decreasing and information breaking down into smaller bite sizes teachers are questioning the usefulness of books at school.
Textbooks still have a few advantages:
- Good for novice teachers. Beginning teachers can benefit from a detailed outline of the material to be covered and the design of each lesson.
- Organised units of work. A textbook gives you all the plans and lessons you need to cover a topic in some detail.
- Structured information. Books provide you with a chronological presentation of information. They usually contain a detailed sequence of teaching procedures that tell you what to do and when to do it.
Good textbooks are excellent teaching aids. They’re a resource for both teachers and students.
Some teachers found that students are not motivated to read textbooks. They have had success with phasing out books and replacing them with practical exercises that are relevant to their students’ daily life experiences.
It is probably good to not use textbooks as the only resource for students. Use it as a guide, not a mandate and be free to modify, change, eliminate, or add to the material in the textbook using videos, films, music and interactive materials.
Choosing an Aboriginal textbook
In my opinion there is nothing better than learning directly from Aboriginal authors. I have witnessed their pain and suffering, their resilience and creativity as well as their joy and community by reading first-hand accounts of their lives. For this reason I have marked the author’s heritage accordingly for all books listed on CreativeSpirits.info.
Be careful with books by non-Aboriginal authors. Do they have an agenda? Are they based on myths or old colonial ideas? Are they painting Aboriginal culture only in a positive, glorifying light?
Even contemporary curriculum-approved books can get it wrong and teach “seasons and animals” followed directly by “Aboriginal seasons”, perpetuating the idea that Aboriginal people are somehow linked to flora and fauna.
It might be a good idea to talk to Aboriginal teachers to learn about their perspective and check if they have recommendations.
Finding a book
I’ve tried to help you find the book you are after with the following resources:
For the latest book releases on Aboriginal Australia shop securely in my Aboriginal Book Store.
The Australian National University has studies on particular themes or regions, or a series of articles on single subjects of contemporary Indigenous topics offered as free Indigenous books for download.
Can’t find your favourite Aboriginal books?
Try a search at Fishpond, Australia’s largest supplier, cheaper than Amazon.
Aboriginal book publishers
Black Ink Press (Townsville, Queensland)
Magabala Books (Broome, Northern Territory)
IAD Press (Alice Springs, Northern Territory)
Aboriginal Studies Press (Canberra, Australian Captial Territory)
Keeaira Press (Southport, Queensland)
JB Books (Marleston, South Australia)
Books for the Australian Curriculum
If you are looking for books about Aboriginal history and culture for the Australian Curriculum check out Booktopia's collection of textbooks.
Amazon offers a number of educational teaching books.
Magabala Books offers teacher's notes to some of its children's books.