NAIDOC 2021: Learn More From Our Podcasts with First Nations Authors

NAIDOC 2021: Learn More From Our Podcasts with First Nations Authors

This July 4-11, we celebrate our First Nations people, history and cultures with NAIDOC Week. This year’s theme, Heal Country! invites all Australians to work towards protecting the lands and waters upon which we live, to acknowledge and protect sacred sites and cultural heritage.

NAIDOC Week is an important time to listen to First Nations voices. We have recently been fortunate enough to speak to some fantastic Indigenous writers on the Better Reading: Stories Behind the Story Podcast. The following list includes some great conversations that you can listen to, to learn more.

Dr. Cindy Solonec on Her Rich Cultural Heritage

Dr. Cindy Solonec talks to Cheryl about her rich cultural Nigena, Spanish and English heritage, and how she turned her PhD thesis about her family history into her memoir Debesa.

Dr. Robert Isaacs on Bridging the Divide Between White and Black Australia

Dr. Robert Isaacs talks to Cheryl about his religious upbringing and discovering his indigenous heritage. His memoir, Two Cultures, One Story, is out now.

Stan Grant on Western Liberalism and the State of the World

Walkley Award-winning journalist and international commentator Stan Grant talks to Cheryl about universal western liberalism, its virtues and the deep trouble with it, and how we are at a time of momentous upheaval and enormous geopolitical shifts. Stan’s latest book, With the Falling of the Dusk, is in stores now.

Adam Thompson on Aboriginal Heritage, Muttonbirding and Storytelling

Aboriginal (pakana) writer Adam Thompson talks to Cheryl about the importance of maintaining Aboriginal heritage sites, muttonbirding, and his journey from storytelling to writing. His debut, Born Into This, is out now.

Tara June Winch on Writing Her Miles Franklin-Winning Novel, The Yield

2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award-winner Tara June Winch talks to Cheryl about her extensive travels, living in France, her connection to the land as a Wiradjuri woman, and her journey to writing The Yield.

Reviews

Your Preview Verdict: Debesa by Cindy Solonec

Review | News | Preview

26 May 2021

Your Preview Verdict: Debesa by Cindy Solonec

    A Sweeping Family Saga: Read an Extract from Debesa by Dr. Cindy Solonec

    Review | Extract

    20 May 2021

    A Sweeping Family Saga: Read an Extract from Debesa by Dr. Cindy Solonec

      Inspiring and Powerful: Read our Review of Debesa by Cindy Solonec

      Review | Our Review

      18 May 2021

      Inspiring and Powerful: Read our Review of Debesa by Cindy Solonec

        Your Preview Verdict: Born Into This by Adam Thompson

        Review | Preview

        26 April 2021

        Your Preview Verdict: Born Into This by Adam Thompson

          Confronting, Funny, Intelligent: Read an Extract From Born Into This by Adam Thompson

          Review | Extract

          9 March 2021

          Confronting, Funny, Intelligent: Read an Extract From Born Into This by Adam Thompson

            Identity and Heritage: Read our Review of Born Into This by Adam Thompson

            Review | Our Review

            8 March 2021

            Identity and Heritage: Read our Review of Born Into This by Adam Thompson

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                      Podcast: Stan Grant on Western Liberalism and the State of the World

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                        Publisher details

                        Two Cultures, One Story
                        Author
                        Robert Isaacs
                        Publisher
                        Magabala Books
                        Genre
                        Biography and Memoir
                        Released
                        01 March, 2021

                        Synopsis

                        Dr Robert Francis Isaacs AM, OAM, PhD (Hon) has spent his life bridging the divide between white and black Australia. Taken from his mother as a baby, Robert was raised in institutions not knowing he had a family and not knowing he was Aboriginal. Enduring severe hardship, discipline and abuse at the hands of the Christian Brothers, Robert went out into the world at the age of 16 determined to make a life for himself and a family of his own. A chance encounter with a member of his extended family would help shape the rest of his life. Determined to both embrace his culture and build on his faith and education, Robert immersed himself in the world of Aboriginal health and housing, proving to be a straight-talking, deft political negotiator who can achieve real outcomes for Aboriginal people. Over the decades, Robert brings his considerable interpersonal skills to bear in the areas of alcohol and drug abuse, employment, relations with the police, the justice system and education. Told with grace and strength, this memoir shares the inside story of a respected Elder and his drive to break down cultural barriers and improve the lives of his people.

                        Publisher details

                        With the Falling of the Dusk
                        Author
                        Stan Grant
                        Publisher
                        HarperCollins
                        Genre
                        Non Fiction
                        Released
                        29 April, 2021

                        Synopsis

                        In only a few short decades, we have come a long way from Francis Fukuyama's declaration of the 'end of history' and the triumph of liberal democracy in 1989. Now, with the inexorable rise of China, the ascendancy of authoritarianism and the retreat of democracy, the world stands at a moment of crisis. This is a time of momentous upheaval and enormous geopolitical shifts, compounded by the global pandemic, economic collapse and growing inequality, Islamist and far right terror, and a resurgent white supremacy. The world is in lockdown and the showdown with China is accelerating - and while the West has been at the forefront of history for 200 years, it must now adapt to a world it no longer dominates. At this moment, we stand on a precipice - what will become of us? Stan Grant is one of our foremost observers and chroniclers of the world in crisis. Weaving his personal experiences of reporting from the front lines of the world's flashpoints, together with his deep understanding of politics, history and philosophy, he explores what is driving the world to crisis and how it might be averted. He fears the worst, but begins to chart the way forward. There is bitterness, anger and history here, but there is also the capacity for negotiation, forgiveness and hope. A powerful and incisive analysis of the state of our world, and our place within it.

                        Publisher details

                        Debesa
                        Author
                        Cindy Solonec
                        Publisher
                        Magabala Books
                        Genre
                        Fiction
                        Released
                        01 May, 2021

                        Synopsis

                        This extraordinary and heartfelt story chronicles the lives of the Rodriguez family of Debesa Station in the West Kimberley; their livelihood through difficult times, love of family, place and culture, and the challenges of day-to-day living on a small sheep station amid huge pastoral properties. Spanning four generations from the 1880s when the author’s maternal great-grandfather, Indian deckhand, Jimmy Casim, met and lived with Nigena woman, Lucy Muninga on Yeeda Station near Derby, Debesa centres on the unlikely partnership of Cindy’s parents: Frank Rodriguez, once a Benedictine novice monk from Spain, and Katie Fraser, who had been a novitiate in a very different sort of abbey – a convent for ‘black’ women at Beagle Bay Mission, 130 kilometres north of Broome. Together, Frank and Katie Rodriguez established Debesa, where Cindy and her three siblings grew up with the rich cultural heritage of their Spanish, Nigena and English ancestors.

                        Publisher details

                        Born Into This
                        Author
                        Adam Thompson
                        Publisher
                        University of Queensland Press
                        Genre
                        Fiction
                        Released
                        02 February, 2021

                        Synopsis

                        The stories in Born Into This throw light on a world of unique cultural practice and perspective, from Indigenous rangers trying to instil some pride in wayward urban teens on the harsh islands off the coast of Tasmania to those scraping by on the margins of white society railroaded into complex and compromised decisions. To this mix, Adam Thompson manages to bring humour, pathos and occasionally a sly twist as his characters confront racism, untimely funerals, classroom politics and, overhanging all like a discomforting, burgeoning awareness for both white and black Australia, the inexorable damage and disappearance of the remnant natural world

                        Synopsis

                        Just tell the truth and someone will hear it eventually. Winner of the 2020 Miles Franklin Award. Knowing that he will soon die, Albert ‘Poppy’ Gondiwindi takes pen to paper. His life has been spent on the banks of the Murrumby River at Prosperous House, on Massacre Plains. Albert is determined to pass on the language of his people and everything that was ever remembered. He finds the words on the wind. August Gondiwindi has been living on the other side of the world for ten years when she learns of her grandfather’s death. She returns home for his burial, wracked with grief and burdened with all she tried to leave behind. Her homecoming is bittersweet as she confronts the love of her kin and news that Prosperous is to be repossessed by a mining company. Determined to make amends she endeavours to save their land – a quest that leads her to the voice of her grandfather and into the past, the stories of her people, the secrets of the river. Profoundly moving and exquisitely written, Tara June Winch’s The Yield is the story of a people and a culture dispossessed. But it is as much a celebration of what was and what endures, and a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling and identity.

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