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Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia

by Anita Heiss (Editor)

Other authors: Alice Anderson (Contributor), Susie Anderson (Contributor), Evelyn Araluen (Contributor), Bebe Backhouse (Contributor), Alicia Bates (Contributor)46 more, Don Bemrose (Contributor), Tony Birch (Contributor), Norleen Brinkworth (Contributor), Katie Bryan (Contributor), Deborah Cheetham (Contributor), Natalie Cromb (Contributor), Karen Davis (Contributor), Ian Dudley (Contributor), Alice Eather (Contributor), Shannon Foster (Contributor), Jason Goninan (Contributor), Adam Goodes (Contributor), Jodi Haines (Contributor), John Hartley (Contributor), Terri Janke (Contributor), Keira Jenkins (Contributor), Patrick Johnson (Contributor), Scott Kennedy (Contributor), Sharon Kingaby (Contributor), Ambelin Kwaymullina (Contributor), Jack Latimore (Contributor), Celeste Liddle (Contributor), Mathew Lillyst (Contributor), Taryn Little (Contributor), Amy McQuire (Contributor), Melanie Mununggurr-Williams (Contributor), Doreen Nelson (Contributor), Sharon Payne (Contributor), Zachary Penrith-Puchalski (Contributor), Carol Pettersen (Contributor), Todd Phillips (Contributor), Kerry Reed-Gilbert (Contributor), William Russell (Contributor), Marlee Silva (Contributor), Liza-Mare Syron (Contributor), Frank Szekely (Contributor), Miranda Tapsell (Contributor), Jared Thomas (Contributor), Ceane G Towers (Contributor), Aileen Walsh (Contributor), Shahni Wellington (Contributor), Alexis West (Contributor), Alison Whittaker (Contributor), John Williams-Mozley (Contributor), Tara June Winch (Contributor), Tamika Worrell (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1167207,800 (3.95)5
What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, attempts to showcase as many diverse voices, experiences and stories as possible in order to answer that question. Each account reveals, to some degree, the impacts of invasion and colonisation – on language, on country, on ways of life, and on how people are treated daily in the community, the education system, the workplace and friendship groups.Accounts from well-known authors and high-profile identities sit alongside newly discovered voices of all ages, with experiences spanning coastal and desert regions, cities and remote communities. All of them speak to the heart – sometimes calling for empathy, oftentimes challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect.This groundbreaking anthology aims to enlighten, inspire and educate about the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today.Contributors include: Tony Birch, Deborah Cheetham, Adam Goodes, Terri Janke, Patrick Johnson, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Jack Latimore, Celeste Liddle, Amy McQuire, Kerry Reed-Gilbert, Miranda Tapsell, Jared Thomas, Aileen Walsh, Alexis West, Tara June Winch, and many, many more.… (more)
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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
These stories are heartfelt and show how negative experiences can change you for the better as you grow to come to terms with your identity. It shows the struggles of acceptance, racism, and just growing up as an aboroginal. ( )
  crazynerd | Mar 30, 2022 |
““There is no single or simple way to define what it means to grow up Aboriginal in Australia….”

I’m having such a hard time putting together a response to reading Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia. I have such a mix of emotions - I am angered, ashamed, sad, enlightened, inspired and hopeful.

Fifty contributors share their diverse experiences of growing up Aboriginal in Australia. They come from all over country, and are of varied ages, genders, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic class.

Yet there are commonalities in their stories -the weight of intergenerational trauma, the burden of stereotypes and racism, the struggle with identity, the desire to understand and embrace their culture, kin and country.

Though the quality of the writing can be uneven, the honesty of the authors stories are affecting and powerful. They are a generous invitation to learn and gain some understanding of what it is like to be a First Nations person growing up in Australia, both then and now.

“….it’s so obvious that underneath the invisible barriers and expectations we have constructed and placed on each other, we are all brothers and sisters; we are all just pink flesh and bone.”

An informative, thought-provoking, and moving anthology Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia is essential reading in the journey to create a new dialogue with and about Aboriginal Australians. ( )
  shelleyraec | Nov 30, 2021 |
3,5

This rating is not for the stories in the book, but for how the book is compiled. I think this is an important book and the stories are wonderful. However, fifty stories are at least twenty-five too many for a book that is three hundred pages long. The stories are also a bit repetitive, and not the good kind of repetitive. Also, sorting all these stories alphabetically by surname was also a mistake, I think it would have been better to sort them by theme.

If you're going to read this book, and you should: do not try to read this book in one sitting. Just read one or two stories each day. ( )
  tmrps | Jul 1, 2021 |
This book opened my eyes to something I knew almost nothing about, and it was fascinating. The editor states "There is no single or simple way to define what it means to grow up Aboriginal in Australia, but this anthology is an attempt to showcase as many of the diverse voices, experiences and stories together as possible." Hess did a remarkable job of providing the reader with a diverse group of aboriginal people with a range of experiences (and a good deal of shared experience.) I listened to this on audio, and hearing people tell their own stories really enhanced the experience.

Each piece here tells a unique story that highlights the differences in experience dictated by age, skin color, parental ties to aboriginal roots, and other factors. Some of the contributors grew up in European neighborhoods, and a few were adopted by white parents. One thing that did not seem to make much difference was economic standing, with more well off contributors facing much of the same flak as the less advantaged writers. As one would expect, some of the essays are better written than others, and more interesting, but all are deeply honest and informative. The stories, the writers often unconnected from one another, raise so many of the same themes. The pressure for fair aboriginals to "pass" as European was repeated. The racist comments of friends followed by "oh, I forgot you where here" or "I forgot you were aboriginal" seem so common. The high incidence of suicide in aboriginal communities appears to have touched most every contributor.

I was struck and disheartened by the similarities between the Australian aboriginal and the Native American and African American experience. The disrespect of native peoples, and the irrational import placed on skin color in the way people view one another is an international disgrace. This book illuminates that while educating on those things uniquely Australian. Exceptionally worthwhile.

One note, I dipped in and out of this and that worked well. I do not think this is the kind of book that is best consumed in one bite. ( )
1 vote Narshkite | May 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heiss, AnitaEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, AliceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, SusieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Araluen, EvelynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Backhouse, BebeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bates, AliciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bemrose, DonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Birch, TonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brinkworth, NorleenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bryan, KatieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cheetham, DeborahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cromb, NatalieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, KarenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dudley, IanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eather, AliceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foster, ShannonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goninan, JasonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goodes, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haines, JodiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hartley, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Janke, TerriContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jenkins, KeiraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, PatrickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kingaby, SharonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kwaymullina, AmbelinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Latimore, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Liddle, CelesteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lillyst, MathewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Little, TarynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McQuire, AmyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mununggurr-Williams, MelanieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nelson, DoreenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Payne, SharonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Penrith-Puchalski, ZacharyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pettersen, CarolContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Phillips, ToddContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reed-Gilbert, KerryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russell, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Silva, MarleeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Syron, Liza-MareContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Szekely, FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tapsell, MirandaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thomas, JaredContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Towers, Ceane GContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walsh, AileenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wellington, ShahniContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
West, AlexisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whittaker, AlisonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams-Mozley, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winch, Tara JuneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Worrell, TamikaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briggs, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fryer, Gregory JNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maza, LisaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page-Lochard, HunterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sebbens, ShariNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shelton, TamalaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, attempts to showcase as many diverse voices, experiences and stories as possible in order to answer that question. Each account reveals, to some degree, the impacts of invasion and colonisation – on language, on country, on ways of life, and on how people are treated daily in the community, the education system, the workplace and friendship groups.Accounts from well-known authors and high-profile identities sit alongside newly discovered voices of all ages, with experiences spanning coastal and desert regions, cities and remote communities. All of them speak to the heart – sometimes calling for empathy, oftentimes challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect.This groundbreaking anthology aims to enlighten, inspire and educate about the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today.Contributors include: Tony Birch, Deborah Cheetham, Adam Goodes, Terri Janke, Patrick Johnson, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Jack Latimore, Celeste Liddle, Amy McQuire, Kerry Reed-Gilbert, Miranda Tapsell, Jared Thomas, Aileen Walsh, Alexis West, Tara June Winch, and many, many more.

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