ANZLL First Nations Reading List: Non Fiction & Life Stories

ANZLL First Nations Literature Reading List: Fiction ANZLL First Nations  Reading List Non Fiction & Life Stories ANZLL First Nations  Reading List  Drama, Poetry, Art & Music 
ANZLL First Nations Reading List Children’s Books First Nations Writing from New Zealand: Maori and Pacific Islands First Nations Writing from around the World (Asia, Canada & the Americas, and Africa

Cultural warning: Indigenous Australians please be aware that this page contains the names of deceased persons.

This page was created on the traditional land of the Ngaruk-Willam clan, one of the six clans of the Bunerong (Boonwurrung or Boon wurrung) saltwater people of the Kulin nation.

Update 9/7/21 Thanks to numerous contributions from all over the world, this page was becoming too unwieldy to manage so it has been split into sub-categories.  Please note that asterisked authors write across genres and their work will be found in more than one category.

Please read the Introduction on the main Reading List page first.

Australian Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Non Fiction and Life Stories

Larissa Behrendt* of the Eualeyai/Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay people whose lands extended from New South Wales to southern Queensland.

Ngarta Jinny Bent, with Jukuna Mona Chuguna of the the Walmajarri people of the Great Sandy Desert, south of the Kimberley in Western Australia

Hazel Brown, of the Noongar people of the southern coast of Western Australia

Burnum Burnum, (1936-1997) was a Woiworrung (Wurundjeri) and Yorta Yorta man at Wallaga Lake in southern New South Wales.

  •  Burnum Burnum’s Aboriginal Australia, A Traveller’s Guide (1988)
    • See my review (part of my review of Marcia Langton’s Welcome to Country)

Jukuna Mona Chuguna with Ngarta Jinny Bent of the the Walmajarri people of the Great Sandy Desert, south of the Kimberley in Western Australia

Claire G Coleman who identifies with the South Coast Noongar people of Western Australia

Jack Davis, poet and dramatist of the Noongar people on the south coast of Western Australia, see

Editors Pat Dudgeon from the Bardi people of the Kimberley area in Western Australia, Jeannie Herbert, an Indigenous woman also born and raised in the Kimberley area and Darlene Oxenham, a Malgana woman from Shark Bay on the coast of Western Australia

Ali Cobby Eckermann* who identifies with the Yankunytjatjara / Kokatha people from the north west desert country of South Australia

Lizzie Marrkilyi Ellis, of the Ngaatjatjarra, one of the language groups making up the Western Desert people of Central Australia

Gay’wu Group of Women (or ‘dilly bag women’s group’), consisting of Yolŋu women from north-east Arnhem Land in Australia’s far north, and non-Aboriginal women

Stan Grant, a “self-identified Indigenous Australian who counts himself among the Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi, Dharrawal and Irish.”

Anita Heiss* member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales

Rita Huggins, an elder and Jackie Huggins, of the Bidjara Central Queensland and Birri-Gubba Juru North Queensland peoples,

Jackie Huggins and Ngaire Jarro are from the Bidjara / Birri Gubba nations in Queensland.

Robert Isaacs, an Aboriginal Elder from the Whadjuk-Bibilmum Wardandi Noongar language group, with Tanaz Byrami

Terri Janke, a Murri woman from Cairns and of Torres Strait Islander descent with Merriam and Wuthathi heritage

Ngaire Jarro and Jackie Huggins are from the Bidjara / Birri Gubba nations in Queensland.

Colin Johnson, see Mudrooroo*

Stephen Kinnane, a Miriuwung Marda-Marda man from the East Kimberley of Western Australia

Ambelina Kwaymullina* from the Palyku people of the Pilbara in Western Australia

Ruby Langford Ginibi, a Bundjalung woman from the North Coast of NSW

Marcia Langton, a descendant of the Yiman and Bidjara nations in Queensland

Kenny Laughton of the Arrernte people from the Central Australian lands centred on the township of Alice Springs (Mparntwe), extending to the east as far as Wallace Rock Hole, to the west to Watarrka (Kings Canyon) and as far as the Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park.

  • Not Quite Men, No Longer Boys (1999) (This is ‘faction’ based on Laughton’s military experiences in Vietnam)

Jeanine Leane*, a Wiradjuri woman of New South Wales.

Yami Lester, a Yankunytjatjara man from northern South Australia

Melissa Lucashenko of the Ygambeh/Bundjalung people of northern coastal New South Wales.

Keelan Mailman, of the Bidjara people of Queensland, between Tambo and Augathella, Warrego and Langlo rivers.

Rosie Malezer, a Gubbi-Gubbi woman from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland

John Maynard, from the Worimi People of Port Stephens near Newcastle, co-author with Victoria Haskins

Thomas Mayor, a Torres Strait Islander born on Larrakia Country in Darwin.

Sally Morgan* from the Palku (or Bailgu) people of the Pilbara in northern Western Australia

Mudrooroo* a.k.a. Colin Johnson of the Narrogin people in Western Australia

Marie Munkara, descended from the Tiwi, Chinese & Rembarranga people whose lands are southeast of Katherine in the Northern territory.

Margo Neale, an Indigenous woman from Queensland, of Indigenous and Irish descent from the Kulin nation with Gumbayngirr clan connections.

Bill Neidjie, an Elder of the Kakadu in the Northern Territory and the last remaining speaker of the Gaagudju language

Dianne O’Brien a Yorta Yorta woman, from the river country of Victoria, with Sue Williams

Oodgeroo Noonuccal a.k.a. Kath Walker of the Quandamooka people of Stradbroke Island, Queensland

NT Writers Centre

  • This Country Anytime Anywhere, (2010) IADPress,  featuring works by emerging writers as well as many winners of Northern Territory literary awards, including Marie Munkara, winner of the 2008 David Unaipon Award for Every Secret Thing (also judged the 2010 Northern Territory Book of the Year Award).

Bruce Pascoe, a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man

Noel Pearson of Bagaarrmugu and Guggu Yalanji descent, and Shireen Morris

Doris Pilkington Garimara, of the Martu people in the Western Desert within the Pilbara region

Boori Monty Prior, descended from the Kunggandji people of Queensland and the Birri-Gubba people of the Whitsunday Islands.

Kerry Reed-Gilbert, a Wiradjuri woman

Archie Roach, born in Mooroopna in 1955.  His family lived on the Framlingham Aboriginal Mission near Warrnambool. He is one of the Stolen Generations, taken as a child from his mother, Nellie, a Gunditjmara woman, and father, Archie, a Bundjalung man from New South Wales.

Wenten Rubuntja , an Arrernte man from Central Australia

Kim Scott of the Noongar people of the southern coast of Western Australia

Cindy Solonec, a Nigena (Nyikina) woman from the West Kimberley.

Miranda Tapsell, a a Larrakia woman from the Northern Territory

Alf Taylor, a Noongar Elder from Western Australia

Margaret Tucker, born in NSW of Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta descent.

Ellen Van Neerven, a writer of Mununjali and Dutch heritage who identifies with the Yugambeh people of the Gold Coast and Scenic Rim in Queensland, also see the poetry section below

Chelsea Watego, a Munanjahli and South Sea Islander woman born and raised on Yuggera country in Brisbane’s southern suburbs

Ida West, a Tasmanian Aborigine, born on the Cape Barren Island Reserve

Herb Wharton born in Yumba, an Aboriginal camp in the south-western Queensland town of Cunnamulla

  • Unbranded (1992) (Black Australian Writers)

Lesley Williams a Murri Elder, and Tammy Williams, a Murri woman. Murri lands extend across New South Wales and Queensland.

Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung, descended from the Mbaiwum/Trotj and Alngith/Liningithi Wikway Nations of Western Cape York

Waipuldanya, a.k.a. Phillip Roberts, of the Alawa people from Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, as told to Douglas Lockwood

Alexis Wright of the Waanyi people in the Gulf region of Queensland.

Further reading

Sue from Whispering Gums has dedicated her weekly Monday Musings to NAIDOC Week since 2013

My article at ANZ LitLovers Decolonising a Blog… a work in progress #2: Learning about the emergence of Indigenous life writing.

Essential readings in history include

Tasmanian Aborigines, a History since 1803 by Lyndall Ryan,

‘Me Write Myself’, the Free Aboriginal Inhabitants of Van Dieman’s Land at Wybalenna 1832-47, by Leonie Stevens.  This book is ground-breaking because it tells the story of these Aborigines using their own words from original sources.

It’s Still in My Heart, This is My Country, by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, John Host with Chris Owen

Every Mother’s Son is Guilty: Policing the Kimberley Frontier of Western Australia 1882 – 1905 by Chris Owen

Return to Uluru by Mark McKenna

Maralinga, the Struggle for Return of the Lands by Garry Hiskey

Black, White and Exempt, edited by Lucinda Aberdeen and Jennifer Jones with contributions from Ash Francisco, a Wiradjuri woman; Beth Marsden; Jessica Horton; Jennifer Jones; John Maynard, a Worimi man; Auntry Judy Wickes, a Kalkadoon and Wakka Wakka woman; Katherine Ellinghaus; Karen Hughes; Aunty Kella Robinson, a Wemba Wemba woman; Leonie Stevens; Lucinda Aberdeen

On the subject of Indigenous youth suicide, which includes the situation in Australia, see All Our Relations by Tanya Talaga, a member of Fort William First Nation in Canada

Via Mx Keira @khuolohan, these are recommendations for those interested in further explorations at an academic level.

  • Sovereign Subjects, Indigenous Sovereignty Matters by Aileen Moreton-Robinson of the Goenpul tribe, part of the Quandamooka nation on Stradbroke Island in Queensland
  • Decolonising Methodologies, Research and Indigenous Peoples, by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou, Māori
  • Indigenous Writes, a Guide to First Nations by Chelsea Vowel, a Métis writer and lawyer from near Lac Ste
%d bloggers like this: