It began as a rock protest song penned by Paul Kelly and Kev Carmoy, and was first recorded back in 1991. Ultimately, however, the story itself began back in 1966 during the Gurindji walk-off at Wave Hill in NT led by Vincent Lingiari. What began as a fight re the poor working conditions and unequal pay ended with a successful and monumental battle over land rights, with the land being granted back to the Gurindji people by Prime Minister Gough Whitlam on 16 August 1975.
This great picture book enables the story to be re told to a younger generation. Alongside the original song lyrics are eye catching, beautiful illustrations by the Gurindji school children and artist Peter Hudson. They bring this true story to life, and make it more than accessible to a younger generation. It's about standing up, and fighting, for what is right.
"This book needs to be in every household in Australia. In every classroom and every library. Hell, I think it would do well to be in doctors waiting areas. It is essential reading, urgent reading. It is a story that EVERY Australian SHOULD know. And it is a song that everyone should sing." Anita Heiss, 2008.
The impact of this book so far? A not-for-profit collaboration between Affirm Press and One Day Hill mean sales of this book go directly back to the Gurindji community. The results of this? So far, some of the staggering $100,000 raised from sales of this book have been used to create Karungkarni ('children dreaming') an Art and Cultural centre in Kalkaringi, NT in July 2010.
Want to know more? Explore this further by reading Anita Heiss' review of the book and clicking on the links to both Affirm Press and One Day Hill. Oh .. and buy the book itself of course!
A touring museum exhibition of the same name traces the fight for Indigenous civil rights in Australia from 1920 to 1970. The exhibition, by National Museum Australia, is in Townsville until February 2012, then at the Queensland Musuem from February until March 2012. Even if you can't make it, the website offers a great range of background information including educational resources. It's well worth a look.