Look for a Book! Must read books by First Nations authors

The First Scientists: Deadly Inventions and Innovations from Australia’s First Peoples by Corey Tutt
Hardie Grant

Deadly Science founder Corey Tutt has produced this illustrated science book for kids aged 7 to 12 years.

In consultation with communities and with beautiful illustrations by Blak Douglas, Corey shows young readers of the wealth of First Nations knowledges and technologies that have been built up over 65,000 years. From the first engineers to the first chemists, Australia’s First Peoples have long been experimenting, inventing and innovating.

There is plenty to entice the young – and not so young – reader, many opportunities to learn fascinating facts, and answers to many questions are provided. As 6-year-old Olivia asked, “But why do they manage the land with fire?” Luckily The First Scientists has the answer.

Jimmy Little: A Yorta Yorta Man by Frances Peters-Little
Hardie Grant

When Frances Peters-Little talks about the motivation for her recently released biography of Jimmy Little it’s simple, “There hadn’t been a biography about Dad ever. I had to do it!” Frances, a filmmaker, historian and musician, has done us all a favour by uncovering and presenting the story of her much-loved father, community leader, and Australia’s first Aboriginal pop singer. Jimmy Little’s story is both extraordinary and common place.

He reached heights of fame and acceptance previously unknown to Aboriginal performers while, out of the spotlight his family and his own experiences mirrored the dispossession, exclusion and discrimination experienced by any Aboriginal people of the times. This engrossing book is not just a story of one man but a history lesson as well.

It’s now 60 years since Royal Telephone was the first song by an Indigenous performer to reach No. 1; high time you caught up on the story of Jimmy Little.

Dark Heart (Edition 1 and 2) by Scott Wilson
Indigiverse Comics

Calling all comic book lovers!

The Indigiverse starts here with Dark Heart. Gooniyandi and Miriwoong Kadjerong man Scott Wilson weaves together culture, language and oral tradition to introduce the 65,000-year-old order of Elder Protectors. They protect the Lore that defends people and main character Adam Hart is drawn into this ancient story when evil spirits are freed from the Sacred Fires.

Adam, a university student living away from Country in Sydney, is our first superhero in the Indigiverse universe and he must now learn to harness the power of The Dreaming for good and become Dark Heart. Focused on themes of identity and connection Dark Heart takes on the popular superhero genre to bring the oldest living culture to a worldwide audience.

Come Together – Things Every Aussie Kid Should Know about the First Peoples by Isaiah Firebrace
Hardie Grant

In 2021, Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara artist Isaiah Firebrace presented a petition to Federal Parliament asking for First Nations history to be taught in all Australian schools.

Hundreds of thousands of people signed and Come Together was soon born out of this passionate call to educate all children in an understanding of First Nations histories, protocols, and cultures. Beautifully illustrated with bite-sized explanations of 20 topics such as totems, songlines, the Stolen Generations, astronomy, and art, it is a wellstructured book for young children and their families.

Come Together and its introduction into First Nations seasons, ceremonies, and food will pique the curious nature of its young readers and no doubt ignite a desire to go deeper and learn more about the oldest continuing culture on Earth.

Read this story, or find more stories in the full edition of the May 2023 issue of Reconciliation News.

Paul House with gum leaves and smoke
Paul Girrawah House

Paul Girrawah House has multiple First Nation ancestries from the South-East Canberra region, including the Ngambri-Ngurmal (Walgalu), Pajong (Gundungurra), Wallabollooa (Ngunnawal) and Erambie/Brungle (Wiradyuri) family groups.

Paul acknowledges his diverse First Nation history, he particularly identifies as a descendant of Onyong aka Jindoomang from Weereewaa (Lake George) and Henry ‘Black Harry’ Williams from Namadgi who were both multilingual, essentially Walgalu-Ngunnawal-Wiradjuri speaking warriors and Ngunnawal–Wallaballooa man William Lane aka ‘Billy the Bull’ - Murrjinille.

Paul was born at the old Canberra hospital in the centre of his ancestral country and strongly acknowledges his First Nation matriarch ancestors, in particular his mother Dr Aunty Matilda House-Williams and grandmother, Ms Pearl Simpson-Wedge.

Paul completed a Bachelor of Community Management from Macquarie University, and Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage and Management from CSU.

Paul provided the Welcome to Country for the 47th Opening of Federal Parliament in 2022. Paul is Board Director, Ngambri Local Aboriginal Land Council, Member Indigenous Reference Group, National Museum of Australia and Australian Government Voice Referendum Engagement Group.  

Paul works on country with the ANU, First Nations Portfolio as a Senior Community Engagement Officer

Acknowledgement of Country

Reconciliation Australia acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing  connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images or names of people who have passed away.

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