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Vision Australia Library recognise the rich history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as the original storytellers of this land. We actively commit to the telling of first nations’ stories and supporting their traditions of oral storytelling. 

The Vision Australia Library has a range of fiction and non-fiction books by Indigenous authors. We encourage our members to explore our collection during NAIDOC Week and enjoy the work of some of Australia’s talented Indigenous authors. 

In Conversation with Alexis Wright

In March this year, Vision Australia Library were fortunate to host an inspiring In Conversation with Alexis Wright. If you were not able to join us for Alexis’ In Conversation, it is available on i-access on the podcast ‘Vision Australia Library In Conversation’  

During our In Conversation, Alexis discussed her most recent book, Praiseworthy, which was recently announced the winner of the 2024 Stella Prize. Praiseworthy is available in the Vision Australia Library.  

Praiseworthy by Alexis Wright

Set in a small town dominated by a haze cloud, which heralds both an ecological catastrophe and a gathering of the ancestors, Praiseworthy introducing a crazed visionary who seeks out donkeys as the solution to the global climate crisis and the economic dependency of the Aboriginal people. His wife seeks solace from his madness in following the dance of butterflies and scouring the internet to find out how she can seek repatriation for her Aboriginal/Chinese family to China. One of their sons, called Aboriginal Sovereignty, is determined to commit suicide. The other, Tommyhawk, wishes his brother dead so that he can pursue his dream of becoming white and powerful. This is a novel which pushes allegory and language to its limits, a cry of outrage against oppression and disadvantage, and a fable for the end of days. 

Recent First Nations Titles available in the Library

Burn by Melanie Saward

Burn tells the story of Andrew, a 16 year old Indigenous schoolboy, growing up in the suburbs. He is struggling at home, at school, at everything. The only thing that distracts and excites him is starting little fires. Flames boost his morale, purify his thoughts, and they are the only thing in his life he can control. They also seem to grab the attention of his absent father. But when a terrible blaze ends in tragedy, the community turns on Andrew, and his faith in himself and the system is put to the greatest test. 

Women and Children by Tony Birch

Women and Children is set in 1965 and Joe Cluny is living in a working-class suburb with his mum, Marion, and sister, Ruby, spending his days trying to avoid trouble with the nuns at the local Catholic primary school. One evening his Aunty Oona appears on the doorstep, distressed and needing somewhere to stay. As his mum and aunty work out what to do, Joe comes to understand the secrets that the women in his family carry, including on their bodies. 

We Come With this Place by Debra Dank

We Come with This Place is deeply personal, a profound tribute to family and the Gudanji Country to which Debra Dank belongs, but it is much more than that. Here is Australia as it has been for countless generations, land and people in effortless balance, and Australia as it became, but also Australia as it could and should be. 

The Boy from Boomerang Crescent by Eddie Betts

How does a self-described ‘skinny Aboriginal kid’ overcome a legacy of family tragedy to become an AFL legend? One thing’s for sure: it’s not easy. But then, there’s always been something special about Eddie Betts. Betts grew up in Port Lincoln and Kalgoorlie, in environments where the destructive legacies of colonialism – racism, police targeting of Aboriginal people, drug and alcohol misuse, family violence – were sadly normalised. His childhood was defined by family closeness as well as family strife, plus a wonderful freedom that he and his cousins exploited to the full – for better and for worse.  

Blacklines: Contemporary Critical Writing by Indigenous Australians

The first collection of critical writing by Indigenous Australian intellectuals addressing contemporary cultural issues. Written by established and emerging Indigenous intellectuals from a variety of positions, perspectives and places, these essays generate new ways of seeing and understanding Indigenous Australian history, culture, identity and knowledge in both national and global contexts. From museums to Mabo, anthropology to art, feminism to film, land rights to literature, the essays collected here offer provocative insights and compelling arguments around the historical and contemporary issues confronting Indigenous Australians.