Skip to main content

I look forward to when we realise that this country is our giver of life and will survive long after we have passed on. Maybe, then, we will each choose a life similar to that of our ancestors: one of leaving soft footprints and a light touch on this landscape, and with a kindness for each other.

Gull on a rock, Rocky Cape National Park, Tasmania. April 2020.

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia by Anita Heiss (ed.)

It is hard to directly compare a book such as this with works of literature, as collections of essays penned by a wide range of contributors (most of whom are not writers) are by their very nature uneven.

That said, this is an affecting compilation of experiences of Australian Aboriginals: male and female, young and old, straight and gay, rich and poor (and everything in between). It can be hard going at points, and I must say it is a blunt reminder of the casual, everyday racism face by far too many in Australia.

While I wasn't surprised at some of the tales, I was disheartened to hear that the experiences of some of the younger contributors were as appalling as those I grew up with. For example, I had hoped that the continued offhanded (to the point of ubiquitous) use of "abo" in daily life had disappeared by now. Seems not.

While not quite the thing to read back-to-back-to-back, I'd love to see people dipping into essays now and again. It would be a great resource for schools or services looking to help their staff understand the impact of their unconscious (or not) bias. 


Popular posts from this blog


Success is counted sweetest by those who never succeed.

Looking back to Manarola, the path from Manarola to Corniglia, Cinque Terre National Park, April 2017. So I managed to read 112 books for 2019. Somewhat ahead of my goal of 80 , and about 110 more than TV shows that I saw. The highlights? Well, I gave five stars to the following: Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones (dogfighting and Hurricane Katrina) Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett (a wonderfully dark 1980s Aussie suburban coming of age novel) Jarett Kobek's blistering I Hate the Internet (Vonnegut for the post-ironic age) Andreï Makine's dreamlike The Archipelago of Another Life (a chase across the Siberian taiga at the tail-end of Stalin's rule);  Żanna Słoniowska's complex The House with the Stained-Glass Window (a wonderfully translated cross-cultural, multi-generational tale of the women in one particular family in Lviv);  This Is Not a Novel by Jennifer Johnston (an original novel framed around fragments of memory and the ways with which parent

Way to go Hugo!

Without a shadow of a doubt, Hugo Chávez is the rudest head of state currently going around. Over the years, we have seen and heard many examples of his discourteous behaviour: ex-wives ; ex-lovers ; Spanish royals ; US Ambassadors ; the General Assembly of the United Nations ; the US President (a lot); Mexicans ; along with pretty much everyone else! So there should be no surprise that he's at it yet again ! I do like the logic though: Angela Merkel is German politician. She identifies (broadly) as ' of the right '. Some German right wingers supported Fascism in the 1930s and 1940s. Hitler was a Fascist. Ergo , Merkel = "..." With those powers of reasoning, Chavez should be heading up the UTas branch of Socialist Alliance !