Podcast: Thomas Mayor on Masculinity, Love and Culture

Podcast: Thomas Mayor on Masculinity, Love and Culture

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Thomas Mayor talks to Cheryl about his latest book, Dear Son, a collection of heartfelt letters written by First Nations men about life, masculinity, love, culture and racism.

About the author:

Thomas Mayor is a Torres Strait Islander man born on Larrakia country in Darwin. As an Islander growing up on the mainland, he learned to hunt traditional foods with his father and to island dance from the Darwin community of Torres Strait Islanders. In high school, Thomas’s English teacher suggested he should become a writer. He didn’t think then that he would become one of the first ever Torres Strait Islander authors to have a book published for the general trade. Instead, he became a wharf labourer from the age of seventeen, until he became a union official for the Maritime Union of Australia in his early thirties. Quietly spoken in character, Thomas found his voice on the wharves. As he gained the skills of negotiation and organising in the union movement, he applied those skills to advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples, becoming a signatory to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a tireless campaigner. Following the Uluru Convention, Thomas was entrusted to carry the sacred canvas of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. He then embarked on an eighteen-month journey around the country to garner support for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice, and a Makarrata Commission for truth-telling and agreement-making or treaties. Thomas’s journey continues, both in person and through the pages of this book. The book is his gift to the campaign for Voice, Treaty and Truth. Like the Uluru Statement from the Heart, he hopes that all Australians will accept it.

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Publisher details

Dear Son
Author
Thomas Mayor
Publisher
Hardie Grant
Genre
Non Fiction
Released
01 September, 2021
ISBN
9781741177565

Synopsis

Dear Son shares heartfelt letters written by First Nations men about life, masculinity, love, culture and racism. Along with his own vivid and poignant prose and poetry, author and editor Thomas Mayor invites 12 contributors to write a letter to their son or father, bringing together a range of perspectives that offers the greatest celebration of First Nations manhood. This beautifully designed anthology comes at a time when First Nations peoples are starting to break free of derogatory stereotypes and find solace in their communities and cultures. Yet, each contributor also has one thing in common: they all have a relative who has been terribly wronged – enslaved, raped and dispossessed – because of their Aboriginality. Featuring letters from Stan Grant, Troy Cassar-Daley, John Liddle, Charlie King, Joe Williams, Yessie Mosby, Joel Bayliss, Daniel James, Jack Latimore, Daniel Morrison, Tim Sculthorpe and Blak Douglas. A gentle and loving book for families from anywhere in the world. Artwork by proud Kaurna/Ngarrindjeri/Narrunga/Italian Australian artist Tony Wilson, with illustrations and design by Gamilaraay designer Tristan Schultz of Relative Creative.
Thomas Mayor
About the author

Thomas Mayor

Thomas Mayor is a Torres Strait Islander man born on Larrakia country in Darwin. As an Islander growing up on the mainland, he learned to hunt traditional foods with his father and to island dance from the Darwin community of Torres Strait Islanders. In high school, Thomas’s English teacher suggested he should become a writer. He didn’t think then that he would become one of the first ever Torres Strait Islander authors to have a book published for the general trade. Instead, he became a wharf labourer from the age of seventeen, until he became a union official for the Maritime Union of Australia in his early thirties. Quietly spoken in character, Thomas found his voice on the wharves. As he gained the skills of negotiation and organising in the union movement, he applied those skills to advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples, becoming a signatory to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a tireless campaigner. Following the Uluru Convention, Thomas was entrusted to carry the sacred canvas of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. He then embarked on an eighteen-month journey around the country to garner support for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice, and a Makarrata Commission for truth-telling and agreement-making or treaties. Thomas’s journey continues, both in person and through the pages of this book. The book is his gift to the campaign for Voice, Treaty and Truth. Like the Uluru Statement from the Heart, he hopes that all Australians will accept it.

Books by Thomas Mayor

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