The poor treatment of Aboriginal workers at Wave Hill Station and the subsequent walk off which followed in 1966 is well documented in Australia’s history. Unfortunately the poor treatment of aboriginals started decades before and until now the brutal stories of stolen children, abuses and killings have gone untold.
Co-edited by Dr Felicity Meakins, Yijarni: true stories from Gurindji country is a collection of stories shared by Gurindji elders whose loved ones suffered for decades.
“Whitefellas massacred our Gurindji ancestors. Then they put up their station houses, yards and stock camps. But this land is Aboriginal land and whitefellas haven’t succeeded in getting rid of us. Aboriginal people still recognise each other as the traditional owners all ‘round this area. The law has always been here”. – Pincher Nyurrmiari, interviewed in 1978. (Yijarni, p. 30-31).
If you are interested in reading more about the history, Felicity has published a great piece in The Conversation which is available here.
The book was launched in August by Senator Patrick Dodson. Those in attendance included Labor leader Bill Shorten, Greens leader Richard di Natalie, Sen. Malarndirri McCarthy and Member for Lingiari Warren Snowden.