Aboriginal books

Anthologies (10)

Heartsick for Country - Sally Morgan, Tjalaminu Mia, Blaze Kwaymullina

Heartsick for Country

This Country Anytime Anywhere

This Country Anytime Anywhere

Aunty Ruth Hegarty - Is That You Ruthie?

Is That You Ruthie?

Aunty Ruth Hegarty - Bittersweet Journey

Bittersweet Journey

Browse all 10 Anthologies books >

Arts (39)

Martin Edmond - Battarbee and Namatjira

Battarbee and Namatjira

Adrian Newstead - The Dealer is The Devil

The Dealer is The Devil

Robert Hillman - Gurrumul

Gurrumul: His Life and Music

National Gallery of Australia - Albert Namatjira

Albert Namatjira

Browse all 39 Arts books >

Business and Economy (5)

Lesley Williams, Tammy Williams - Not Just Black And White

Not Just Black and White

How To Start An Aboriginal Business - Neil Willmett

How to Start a Successful Aboriginal Business in Australia

Aboriginal Business: Alliances in a Remote Australian Town - Kimberly Christen

Aboriginal Business: Alliances in a Remote Australian Town

Ian Keen - Aboriginal Economy and Society

Aboriginal Economy and Society

Browse all 5 Business and Economy books >

Children (75)

Desert Dog - Pat Lowe

Desert Dog

Wunambi: The Water Snake - May L. O'Brien

Wunambi: The Water Snake

David Hardy - Alfie's Search for Destiny

Alfie’s Search for Destiny

Lajamanu School - Warnayarra: The Rainbow Snake

Warnayarra: The Rainbow Snake

Browse all 75 Children books >

Education (1)

Dr Chris Sarra - Good Morning Mr Sarra

Good Morning, Mr Sarra

Browse all 1 Education books >

Fiction, Novels (57)

Scream Black Murder - Philip McLaren

Scream Black Murder

Sue Woolfe - The Oldest Song In The World

The Oldest Song in the World

Kim Scott - That Deadman Dance

That Deadman Dance

Clarrie Cameron - Elephants in the Bush

Elephants in the bush and other Yamatji yarns

Browse all 57 Fiction, Novels books >

Health (11)

John Newton - The Oldest New Ingredients on Earth

The Oldest Foods on Earth

Buddhi Lokuge, Tanya Burke - A Doctor's Dream

A Doctor’s Dream

NPY Women's Council Aboriginal Corporation - Traditional Healers of the Central Desert: Ngangkari

Traditional Healers of the Central Desert: Ngangkari

Maggie Brady - Indigenous Australia and Alcohol Policy – Meeting Difference with Indifference

Indigenous Australia and Alcohol Policy

Browse all 11 Health books >

History (82)

Larissa Behrendt - Rabbit-proof Fence

Rabbit-proof Fence

Sue Davenport, Peter Johnson, Yuwali - Cleared Out

Cleared Out—First Contact in the Western Desert

Anna Haebich, Steve Mickler - A Boy's Short Life: The True Story Of Warren Braedon

A Boy’s Short Life: The True Story Of Warren Braedon

Timothy Bottoms - Conspiracy of Silence

Conspiracy of Silence

Browse all 82 History books >

Humour, Cartoons (2)

Anita Heiss - Sacred Cows

Sacred Cows

Jackie French - Shipwreck, Sailors and 60,000 Years

Shipwreck, Sailors and 60,000 Years

Browse all 2 Humour, Cartoons books >

Land (19)

Joy Murphy - Welcome To Country

Welcome To Country

Eve Vincent - Against Native Title

Against Native Title

Fire and Hearth: A study of Aboriginal usage and European usurpation in south-western Australia

Fire and Hearth

Philip A Clarke - Discovering Aboriginal Plant Use

Discovering Aboriginal Plant Use

Browse all 19 Land books >

Language (4)

Diana Eades - Aboriginal ways of using English

Aboriginal ways of using English

Adam Kendon - Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia

Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia

Bruce Moore - The Australian National Dictionary

The Australian National Dictionary

David Horton - Aboriginal Australia Wall Map

Aboriginal Australia Wall Map

Browse all 4 Language books >

Law & Justice (4)

Thalia Anthony - Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment

Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment

Gone For A Song - Jeff Waters

Gone for a Song: Death and Desperation in the Deep North

Don Weatherburn - Arresting Incarceration

Arresting Incarceration: Pathways out of Indigenous Imprisonment

Henry Reynolds - The Law of the Land

The Law of the Land

Browse all 4 Law & Justice books >

Mythology (6)

Oodgeroo Noonuccal - Stradbroke Dreamtime

Stradbroke Dreamtime

Minmia (Maureen Smith) - Under the Quandong Tree

Under the Quandong Tree

May O'Brien - Bawoo Stories

Bawoo Stories

Bruce Chatwin - The Songlines

The Songlines

Browse all 6 Mythology books >

People (36)

Lani Brennan - Lani's Story

Lani’s Story

Ali Cobby Eckermann - Too Afraid To Cry

Too Afraid to Cry

Colouring the Rainbow - Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives

Colouring the Rainbow - Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives

Bill Neidjie - Old Man's Story

Old Man’s Story

Browse all 36 People books >

Personal Reports and Experiences (50)

Bill Neidjie - Story About Feeling

Story About Feeling

W.J. Peasley - The Last of the Nomads

The Last of the Nomads

Dreamkeepers - Harvey Arden


Lizzie Marrkilyi Ellis - Pictures From My Memory

Pictures From My Memory

Browse all 50 Personal Reports and Experiences books >

Politics (16)

Richard Broome - Fighting Hard - The Victorian Aborigines Advancement League

Fighting Hard—The Victorian Aborigines Advancement League

Kevin Gilbert - Because a White Man'll Never Do it

Because a White Man’ll Never Do it

In The Absence Of A Treaty

In the Absence of Treaty

Henry Reynolds - Aboriginal Sovereignty

Aboriginal Sovereignty

Browse all 16 Politics books >

Spirituality & Poetry (17)

Our Mob, God's Story

Our Mob, God’s Story

Ali Cobby Eckermann - Love Dreaming & Other Poems

Love Dreaming & Other Poems

Litte Bit Long Time - Ali Cobby Eckermann

Litte Bit Long Time

Paul Callaghan - Iridescence


Browse all 17 Spirituality & Poetry books >

Sport (14)

Sean Gorman - Legends - The AFL Indigenous Team of the Century 1905-2005

Legends - The AFL Indigenous Team of the Century 1905-2005

Dizzy - The Jason Gillespie Story - Jason Gillespie, Lawrie Colliver

Dizzy: The Jason Gillespie Story

John Maynard - Aborigines & the Sport of Kings

Aborigines & the Sport of Kings

Black Pearls: The Aboriginal and Islander Sports Hall of Fame

Browse all 14 Sport books >

Textbooks, Teaching, Studies (49)

The Little Red Yellow Black Book - Bruce Pascoe

The Little Red Yellow Black Book

Tim Rowse - Indigenous and Other Australians Since 1901

Indigenous and Other Australians Since 1901

Singing Saltwater Country - John Bradley

Singing Saltwater Country

Deborah Wilson - Different White People

Different White People: Radical Activism for Aboriginal Rights 1946-1972

Browse all 49 Textbooks, Teaching, Studies books >

Travel (4)

Melbourne Dreaming: A Guide to the Aboriginal Places of Melbourne - Meyer Eidelson

The Melbourne Dreaming

Aboriginal Sydney - Melinda Hinkson

Aboriginal Sydney

Aboriginal Darwin: A Guide to Exploring Important Sites of the Past and Present - Toni Bauman, Samantha Wells

Aboriginal Darwin

Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands

Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands

Browse all 4 Travel books >

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.

Tip: If you dont’ know where to begin check out my Resources Starter Pack which contains the essential DVDs, CDs and books to get you started.

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

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.

Cite this article

An appropriate citation for this document is:

Aboriginal culture - Teacher & student resources - Books, retrieved 20 October 2018