Portraits From a Land Without People
Is That You Ruthie?
Singing the Land: The Power of Performance in Aboriginal Life
Ngaanyatjarra: Art of the Lands
The Wanarn Painters of Place and Time
Business and Economy (5)
Aboriginal Economy and Society
Engaging Indigenous Economy
Not Just Black and White
Aboriginal Business: Alliances in a Remote Australian Town
How the Kangaroos got their tails
Wunambi: The Water Snake
My Mob Going to the Beach
Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck
Good Morning, Mr Sarra
Fiction, Novels (50)
Barons Reach - The Dreaming Series Book 3
Doctor Wooreddy’s Prescription for Enduring the End of the World
Healers of Arnhem Land
Noongar Bush Medicine
Indigenous Australia and Alcohol Policy
The Oldest Foods on Earth
The Flash of Recognition
Atomic Thunder - The Maralinga Story
Settlers, Servants and Slaves
Humour, Cartoons (2)
Shipwreck, Sailors and 60,000 Years
Fire and the Story of Burning Country
The Biggest Estate on Earth
Overturning aqua nullius: Securing Aboriginal water rights
Treading Lightly: The Hidden Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People
Aboriginal ways of using English
Aboriginal Australia Wall Map
The Australian National Dictionary
Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia
Law & Justice (4)
Gone for a Song: Death and Desperation in the Deep North
Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment
Arresting Incarceration: Pathways out of Indigenous Imprisonment
The Law of the Land
Singing the Coast
The Politics of Identity - Who Counts as Aboriginal Today?
Riding The Black Cockatoo
Colouring the Rainbow - Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives
Talking to My Country - The Book That Every Australian Should Read
Personal Reports and Experiences (41)
Iwenhe Tyerrtye - What it Means to be an Aboriginal Person
Maralinga’s Long Shadow
Jackson’s Track : Memoir of a Dreamtime Place
The Secrets We Keep
Aboriginal Sovereignty: Justice, the Law and Land
Fighting Hard—The Victorian Aborigines Advancement League
Spirituality & Poetry (13)
Rainbow Spirit Theology
Love Dreaming & Other Poems
Litte Bit Long Time
Dizzy: The Jason Gillespie Story
Black and Proud
The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe
Black Crow: The Andrew McLeod Story
Textbooks, Teaching, Studies (46)
Men’s Business, Women’s Business
Dialogue About Land Justice
Compromised Jurisprudence: Native Title Cases Since Mabo
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.