For Aboriginal people a place comes into being each time it is sung, and it is through this process that places are learned about and cared for. These songs can be for all of us, in the places where Aboriginal stories are rapidly overwritten with the grids of roads and towns.
Together Aboriginal author Tony Perkins and Margaret Somerville explore one coastal group's experience in maintaining the stories and songs of their country: Perkins' Gumbaynggirr homeland in mid-north coast New South Wales. Singing the Coast identifies many important sites along the coast.
These stories and songs are unique in their particularities, yet universal in their sense of knowledge, understanding and openness to sharing.
In Singing the Coast, Tony Perkins and Margaret Somerville invite us to share their decade-long conversations. By taking up the metaphor of singing to capture a quality of voice, Perkins and Somerville show us how to share the land and its stories throughout Australia.
There are far too few good books about Aboriginal Australia and this is a major contribution to the genre. — Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald