Indigenous Etchings—Black and Sexy
Antipodes: Poetic Responses
Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature
Gurrumul: His Life and Music
Lives of the Papunya Tula Artists
Indigenous Australia - Enduring Civilisation
Business and Economy (3)
Aboriginal Economy and Society
How to Start a Successful Aboriginal Business in Australia
Aboriginal Business: Alliances in a Remote Australian Town
Walking with Seasons in Kakadu
What’s Your Story
My Mob Going to the Beach
Good Morning, Mr Sarra
Fiction, Novels (45)
That Deadman Dance
The Oldest Foods on Earth
Indigenous Australia and Alcohol Policy
First Taste—How Indigenous Australians Learned About Grog
A Doctor’s Dream
The Flash of Recognition
Trustees on Trial: Recovering the Stolen Wages
The Aboriginal Story of Burke and Wills
Humour, Cartoons (2)
Shipwreck, Sailors and 60,000 Years
The Biggest Estate on Earth
Dark Emu: Black Seeds
Protest, Land Rights and Riots
Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia
Aboriginal ways of using English
Aboriginal Australia Wall Map
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
I’m Not Racist But - 40 Years of the Racial Discrimination Act
Kin - A Real People’s History of Our Nation
Paddy’s Road: Life Stories of Patrick Dodson
Skin Deep - Settler Impressions of Aboriginal Women
Personal Reports and Experiences (28)
The Secrets We Keep
Black Swan: A Koorie Woman’s Life
Hey Mum, What’s a Half-Caste?
In the Absence of Treaty
The Politics of Suffering: Indigenous Australia and the End of the Liberal Consensus
Recovery: The Politics of Aboriginal Reform
Spirituality & Poetry (10)
White Christ Black Cross
Smoke Encrypted Whispers
Islam Dreaming: Indigenous Muslims in Australia
Love Dreaming & Other Poems
Brotherboys: The Story of Jim and Phillip Krakouer
Black Crow: The Andrew McLeod Story
Liam Jurrah - From Yuendumu to the MCG
Legends - The AFL Indigenous Team of the Century 1905-2005
Textbooks, Teaching, Studies (44)
Australian Cinema After Mabo
Teaching Aboriginal Studies
The Quiet Revolution
A Theory for Indigenous Australian Health and Human Service Work
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.
Or search a list of Aboriginal books from the Aboriginal Studies Press on Fishpond.
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.