Reconciliation week runs every year in Australia, between two historic dates. The 27th of May – anniversary of the 1967 referendum, which altered Australia’s constitution to include Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples – and the 3rd of June, when the High Court of Australia voted in favour of Eddie Mabo’s challenge to ‘terra nullius’, a major win in the battle for recognition of Indigenous land rights in Australia.

Read

Books

The Yield by Tara June Winch
The Yield weaves Wiradjuri language with tales of the past and present, to create a rich and complex story that reminds us colonialism is not only part of both Australia’s history but also the present day. Through the language and ancestral memories of her grandfather, the protagonist August reconnects with kin and country, unpacking her place in the world. A beautiful testament to the power of language and why it should be protected. 

Holly Dillabough, Project Officer (Capacity Building)

Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
Bruce Pascoe beautifully compiles and shares the reality of Aboriginal agriculture, aquaculture, food storage and preservation, and land management. He firmly refutes the colonial myth of a ‘hunter-gatherer’ society, which justified dispossession of land. He provides a new look at Australia’s past that should be part of our education curriculum. In particular, I read this while in Tassie on holiday in early 2019, at a time when beautiful old inaccessible forests were on fire, exacerbated by changing climate conditions making these areas more vulnerable. Fire is part of our landscape. We have much to learn from the traditional owners of the land about how to protect, nurture and ensure country thrives. 

Rachel Lynskey, Project Officer (Cities)

Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko

Too Much Lip, by acclaimed Goorie author Melissa Lucashenko is dark, funny and illustrative of intergenerational trauma as well as a deep connection to country. It’s a raw look into the devastation still wrought on families told through its complex and real characters. If you enjoyed The Yield, this story starts in a similar way: with a woman – in this instance Kerry, “an inch away from the lockup” – reluctantly returning to her family home after the loss of her Pop. 

Sophie Stefanakis, Senior Digital Officer

Decolonising Solidarity by Clare Land
Decolonising Solidarity interrogates the role of activist allies in their support of Indigenous rights in Australia. The book uses both theoretical and practical examples to demonstrate that those seeking to support these causes must critically reflect on themselves and their role in a ‘settler’ society, as well as engaging in public political action. At ClimateWorks, we took up some amazing resources from the author, and others, to run a book club. You can register your own book club to receive a full resource pack with six sets of discussion questions and session plans, plus suggestions for ‘group guidelines’ to keep discussions on track and participants accountable. 

Lilith Palmer, Content Specialist

Books to read with children

Young Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe – a beautifully illustrated, simplified, version of Dark Emu for children (around 7+ years)

Our Home, Our Heartbeat by Adam Briggs – by the inimitable Briggsy, adapted from his song ‘The Children Came Back’, it celebrates a range of Indigenous legends 

Marngrook, the Long-ago story of Aussie Rules by Titta Secombe and Grace Fielding – a must for any little budding AFL fans

Finding our Heart by Thomas Mayor – tells about the Uluru Statement from the Heart in an approachable way, even for very young children, with lovely illustrations accompanying the text.

Laura Simes, Government & Stakeholder Engagement Manager

Articles

Black Summer’s ‘disproportionate’ impact on Aboriginal people. Katie Burgess for the Canberra Times.

‘Mother nature as a living being’: Indigenous mentor teaches traditional land management at TAFE. Glenn Barndon for ABC News.

Previous pandemics help Indigenous community keep out COVID-19. John Bradley for Monash Lens.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allies start with the basics; correct terminology. Dr Summer May Finlay for Intouch Public Health.

Researchers demystify the secrets of ancient Aboriginal migration across Australia. Dana Morse for ABC News.

Remote community leading the way on renewables revolution. Tash Adams, Tennant and District Times.

The First Australians grew to a population of millions, much more than previous estimates. Corey Bradshaw, Alan Williams, Frederik Saltre, Kasih Norman and Sean Ulm for The Conversation.

Watch

As part of Reconciliation Week the ClimateWorks team will be hosting a staff screening of Occupation: Native, from the SBS Reconciliation Film Club. Find out how to host a screening.

In My Blood It Runs
In the thick of lockdown the ClimateWorks team hosted a Zoom-viewing of In My Blood it Runs. It is told from the perspective of ten-year-old Dujuan, who struggles in school – putting him at risk of a cycle of incarceration – but thrives on country. Dujan is a healer, and says: ‘When I’m out bush my Angangkere (healing power) is straight like a line, but when I am in town my Angangkere is wobbly.’ Dujan’s story highlights the importance of identity, connection to country, and the voice of children. It shines an unforgiving light on colonisation in education.

The Australian Dream and the Final Quarter
ClimateWorks ran staff screenings of the Australian Dream and the Final Quarter, both reflecting on Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes’ retirement from AFL on the back of racially-changed booing. The film highlights an attitude from the wider public towards Indigenous Australians that will celebrate their skill on the field but is quick to reject those who call attention to Indigenous history and inequality.

Warburdar Bununu: Water shield
This short film highlights the fight for water rights near Borroloola in the Northern Territory. It follows the efforts of a young leader in conflict with mining up river that’s contaminating the water that runs into his family’s ancestral homelands. It uses footage from the late 70s where Borrolooa elders co-produced a film exposing the threat to their homelands from mining in contrast to the battle today. Members of the ClimateWorks team went to the Footscray Community Arts Centre screening in 2019.

Sophie Stefanakis, Senior Digital Officer

Water is Life
Water is Life is a documentary about the Aboriginal communities fighting against fracking plans in the NT. They learn from First Nations brothers and sisters in the US who are suffering the effects of greedy oil and gas companies, and call on you to join their fight. Produced by Seed Mob, fighting for a just and sustainable future with strong cultures and communities, powered by renewable energy.

Rachel Lynskey, Project Officer (Cities)