Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 17, 2019

In Praise of Books, an excerpt from Our Mob Served (2019), Edited by Allison Cadzow and Mary Anne Jebb

I have just picked up Our Mob Served, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories of war and defending Australia from the library today, and over lunch, I read Chapter I: It Starts With Stories.  The chapter explains the rationale and the process used for gathering the untold stories of Indigenous Service in our armed forces, and so it was that—reading about why the Indigenous contributors to the book valued it so much—I came across this, and wanted to share it because it’s just so true:

Books can also have a different cultural capital from websites and films (important as they are) and can help meet the expectations of the people who shared their stories.  Books say: ‘this is worth knowing and keeping’. and they make the stories accessible to the reading public to hold, talk about and keep.  A book does not flit past your eyes like a film or website.  It lasts.  It can be passed around family members and community, dog-eared and loved until it eventually disintegrates. A book in your hand does not need high-speed internet connection to access it.  More than anything, a book helps to reinforce the authority of the speakers and encourages others to refer to their words.  It can be picked up in years to come and read by future generations.

Our Mob Served, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories of war and defending Australia, edited by Al;lison Cadzoe and Mary Anne Jebb, Aboriginal Studies Press, 2019, ISBN 9780855750718, p.10

More about the book when I’ve read it…



  1. […] As I foreshadowed a fortnight ago when I brought this book home from the library, Our Mob Served tells the mostly untold story of Indigenous service in Australia’s defence forces.  It’s a subject I’ve been interested in ever since the Shrine of Remembrance developed a unit of work about Indigenous Service for primary schools.  In developing and adapting the unit for my students and other teachers, (see my professional blog) I learned a lot, but back then was frustrated by a lack of resources to enhance my background knowledge.  Our Mob Served fills this need perfectly because it curates individual Indigenous stories into one coherent text, and I expect that there will be a review by the professional historians at the Honest History website before long. […]


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