First Australians: An Illustrated History

Editors Rachel Perkins, Marcia Langton With Wayne Atkinson, James Boyce, RG Kimber, Steve Kinnane, Noel Loos and Bruce Pascoe (Indigenous, Aboriginal, Aborigine, war, battle)

First Australians is a landmark illustrated history of Australia that accompanies a major nine-part television series broadcast on SBS TV. Learn More

Product details
  • Hardback
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  • 1st November 2008
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This is the story of the violent clash of culture, religion and ideas at the heart of Australia's history.

Beginning with Aboriginal travellers landing on Australian shores around 70,000 BC, it chronicles the fierce war with colonists, the blood massacres and the earliest civil rights movement the world has ever seen.

Drawing on a rich collection of historic documents and haunting images, it brings to life a cast of characters including Bennelong, who is kidnapped by the British and is the first Australian to set foot on British soil; Truganini known as the last Tasmanian who is broken by the betrayal of her people; and Lieutenant Dawes, a British officer who defies the authority of Empire by falling in love with a young Indigenous woman.

Alive with colonial detail-corruption, mutinies and pyrrhic victories - First Australians tells the story that gave birth to the nation.

Barcode: 9780522853155

Product Reviews (3)

22 Mar 2016 0:22 AEST
Peggy Aeschlimann
from: Maldon

While the overall book and series is excellent, I was surprised by the number of facts wrong about the life of Anne Bon. Her husband had already settled 'Wappan' for 20 years before returning to Scotland, and she wasn't wealthy - her father was a small town doctor. There is also absolutely no evidence that she 'burnt with resentment towards the English for their occupation of the Scottish highlands'; indeed she named the Bonnie Doon Presbyterian church that she had played a major role in establishing the Queen Victoria Memorial Church. The chronology of the policies is also misleading. The 1886 'Half Caste Act' was voted in 17 years before she became a member of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines. So while she believed that 'half castes' should have the free option of working outside the reserves (which they didn't prior to this amendment to the Victorian 1869 Aborigines Act, she had no direct association with its implementation. More importantly to the story of the First Australians, while she had raised the adolescent Tommy 'Punch' Bamfield, it was William Barak she was close friends with. Her poem, 'Barak’s Requiem' - under the pseudonym Sylva - is often quoted in his biographies.

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22 Feb 2016 17:26 AEST
from: St Kilda

Fascinating, evocative and enlightening, a true account of the pain and suffering experienced by a noble race of people and their dedicated persistence to become acknowledged by an ignorant western society. This series should be included as part of the curriculum for Australian History to allow the future generations to understand the truth from all perspectives.

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05 Jan 2012 16:10 AEST
Victoria Markos
from: Alice Springs

Absolutely brilliant collaboration and historical accuracy that defies the previous accounts of "peaceful settlement" and calls upon all Australians "such as we are called today" to question and erradicate myths about this country's heritage. It is high time that a treaty was submitted for Aboriginal approval regarding the lands and equities of this continent that was murderously taken from them.

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