Is That You Ruthie?
Indigenous Etchings—Black and Sexy
Antipodes: Poetic Responses
Lives of the Papunya Tula Artists
Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson
Buried Country - The Story of Aboriginal Country Music
Business and Economy (5)
Aboriginal Business: Alliances in a Remote Australian Town
Not Just Black and White
Aboriginal Economy and Society
How to Start a Successful Aboriginal Business in Australia
The Black and White Club
Digger J Jones
First Australians: Plenty Stories
Good Morning, Mr Sarra
Fiction, Novels (50)
That Deadman Dance
The Nargun And The Stars
Indigenous Australia and Alcohol Policy
The Story of Yudum
First Taste—How Indigenous Australians Learned About Grog
Noongar Bush Medicine
Conspiracy of Silence
Something Like Slavery: Queensland’s Aboriginal Child Workers 1942-1945
Rivers and Resilience
Humour, Cartoons (2)
Shipwreck, Sailors and 60,000 Years
Protest, Land Rights and Riots
Overturning aqua nullius: Securing Aboriginal water rights
Fire and the Story of Burning Country
Invasion to Embassy
Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia
Aboriginal Australia Wall Map
Aboriginal ways of using English
The Australian National Dictionary
Law & Justice (4)
Gone for a Song: Death and Desperation in the Deep North
Arresting Incarceration: Pathways out of Indigenous Imprisonment
The Law of the Land
Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment
Singing the Coast
Billy the Blackfella from Bourke
Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia
Colouring the Rainbow - Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives
Personal Reports and Experiences (41)
Jackson’s Track : Memoir of a Dreamtime Place
A Tear in the Soul
Living with the Locals
In Black & White Australians All at the Crossroads
Spirituality & Poetry (13)
Islam Dreaming: Indigenous Muslims in Australia
White Christ Black Cross
Smoke Encrypted Whispers
The Lamb Enters the Dreaming
Aboriginal Stars of the Turf
The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe
Brotherboys: The Story of Jim and Phillip Krakouer
Black and Proud: The Story of an Iconic AFL Photo
Textbooks, Teaching, Studies (46)
Gunyah, Goondie and Wurley
Nelson Aboriginal Studies Stage 6
Fear, Prejudice, Tolerance
Dialogue About Land Justice
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. The Digital Book Index also keeps a list of free Aboriginal books.
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)
- Budburra Books (Murgon, Queensland)
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.