Bennett, Lily et al.Bush tucker and medicine of the Jawoyn. Sydney: Pearson Library, 2009
Synopsis: “This series is about living in the environment, with a special focus on the foods and medicines that are an integral part of the survival of indigenous peoples all around Australia. An important feature of these books is the exploration of the culture associated with the foods and medicines and the strong observation of seasonal cycles.”–Publisher description.
Bodkin, Frances. D’harawal dreaming Stories: ‘Stories my mother told me’
Synopsis: Throughout the past two hundred years, society has come to regard the Koori Dreaming stories as something akin to the fairy stories they told us as children. However, for thousands upon thousands of years, the stories in this book were used as a teaching tool to impart to the youngest members of the clans the laws that governed the cultural behaviour of clan members. The successive attempts to destroy the Koori culture and assimilate The People into the Euro-centric population were unsuccessful, and the Dreaming Stories were able to continue in their disguise as chairman legend in which animals, birds, insects, even fish became the heroes and heroines.
Bodkin, Frances. D’harawal Climate and Natural Resources. Envirobook. 2013
Synopsis: Traditionally Aboriginal peoples cared for the land, living as one with it. This custodial relationship, expressed through cultural practices, sustained the natural environment and secured the viability of resources necessary to sustain the continuing existence of Aboriginal society over many millennia. This book containing the words of Frances Bodkin and visual imagery of Lorraine Robertson will take you on a journey of understanding the ancient knowledge of the original People of This Land of the D’harawals.
Cahir, Fred. Clark, Ian. Clarke, Philip. Aboriginal Biocultural Knowledge in South-Eastern Australia. CSIRO publishing. 2018
Synopsis: Indigenous Australians have long understood sustainable hunting and harvesting, seasonal changes in flora and fauna, predator–prey relationships and imbalances, and seasonal fire management. Yet the extent of their knowledge and expertise has been largely unknown and underappreciated by non-Aboriginal colonists, especially in the south-east of Australia where Aboriginal culture was severely fractured. Aboriginal Biocultural Knowledge in South-eastern Australia is the first book to examine historical records from early colonists who interacted with south-eastern Australian Aboriginal communities and documented their understanding of the environment, natural resources such as water and plant and animal foods, medicine and other aspects of their material world. This book provides a compelling case for the importance of understanding Indigenous knowledge, to inform discussions around climate change, biodiversity, resource management, health and education. It will be a valuable reference for natural resource management agencies, academics in Indigenous studies and anyone interested in Aboriginal culture and knowledge.
Claudie, David. George, Tommy (1928-2016). Fire: and the story of burning country. Text by Cape York elders & community leaders; photographed & recorded by Peter McConchie. Cyclops Press. 2013
Synopsis: Where Indigenous fire is applied to the landscape it yields a mosaic of positive outcomes from resilience to growth. Where Indigenous fires have been removed from the landscape devastating bushfires are more common, as are their impacts on people and whole communities.
Gammage, Bill. The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia. Allen & Unwin. 2012
Synopsis: Explodes the myth that pre-settlement Australia was an untamed wilderness revealing the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people. Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands, and abundant wildlife, it evoked a country estate in England. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we have ever realised.
Pascoe, Bruce. Dark Emu. Magabala Books. 2014
Synopsis: Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for precolonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing – behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.
Winch, Tara June. The Yield. Penguin Australia. 2021
Synopsis: Wiradjuri author’s cultural knowledge woven into her very readable novel. 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.