Everything you need to know about the Uluru Statement book cover

Authors: Professor Megan Davis and George Wiliams

We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

On 26 May 2017, after a historic process of consultation, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was read out. This clear and urgent call for reform to the community from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples asked for the establishment of a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected in the constitution and a process of agreement-making and truth-telling. Voice. Treaty. Truth.

What was the journey to this point? What do Australians need to know about the Uluru Statement from the Heart? And how can these reforms be achieved?

Everything You Need to Know about the Uluru Statement from the Heart, written by Megan Davis and George Williams, two of Australia’s best-known constitutional experts, is essential reading on how our Constitution was drafted, what the 1967 referendum achieved, and the lead-up and response to the Uluru Statement. Importantly, it explains how the Uluru Statement offers change that will benefit the whole nation.

Available at UNSW Bookshop


First Things First - Griffith Review book cover

Contributors include Megan DavisMarcia LangtonTony BirchMelissa Lucashenko, Alexis WrightBruce PascoeKathy MarksStan Grant and many more.

After more than two hundred years of largely unresolved disputes, Australia needs to hear the voices of Australia's First Nations – and act on them. First Things First delivers strong contemporary insights from leading First Nations people, complemented by robust non-Indigenous writers.

It provides a unique opportunity to share transformative information, structural challenges and personal stories, and aims to be an urgent, nuanced chorus for genuine consideration of Makarrata beyond the symbolic.

With this special edition, co-edited by Julianne Schultz and Sandra Phillips, Griffith Review excavates history and re-imagines the future, while not forgetting the urgencies of the present.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

People of the River book cover

Author: Grace Karskens.

Dyarubbin, the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, is where the two early Australias - ancient and modern - first collided. People of the River journeys into the lost worlds of the Aboriginal people and the settlers of Dyarubbin, both complex worlds with ancient roots.

Aboriginal people had occupied Dyarubbin for at least 50,000 years. Their history, culture and spirituality were inseparable from this river Country. Colonisation kicked off a slow and cumulative process of violence, theft of Aboriginal children and ongoing annexation of the river lands. Yet despite that sorry history, Dyarubbin's Aboriginal people managed to remain on their Country, and they still live on the river today.

The Hawkesbury-Nepean was the seedbed for settler expansion and invasion of Aboriginal lands to the north, south and west. It was the crucible of the colony, and the nation that followed. Grace Karskens is author of The Colony, winner of the 2010 Prime Minister's Non-fiction Award. She is Professor of History at UNSW.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

It's Our Country

Edited by Megan Davis and Marcia Langton.

The idea of constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians has become a highly political and contentious issue. It is entangled in institutional processes that rarely allow the diversity of Indigenous opinion to be expressed.

With a referendum on the agenda, it is now urgent that Indigenous people have a direct say in the form of recognition that constitutional change might achieve.

It's Our Country: Indigenous Arguments for Meaningful Constitutional Recognition and Reform is a collection of essays by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander thinkers and leaders including Patrick Dodson, Noel Pearson, Dawn Casey, and Mick Mansell. Each essay explores what recognition and constitutional reform might achieve—or not achieve—for Indigenous people.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

The Sydney Wars

Author: Dr Stephen Gapps (2018).

This provocative book is the first detailed account of the warfare that occurred across the Sydney region from the arrival of a British expedition in 1788 to the last recorded conflict in the area in 1817. 

Available at UNSW Bookshop

Richard Broome book cover

Author: Richard Broome. 

A powerful history of black and white encounters in Australia since colonization, this remains the only concise survey of Aboriginal history since 1788.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

First Australians book

Editors: Rachel Perkins and Marcia Langton (2008).

Through a vast collection of images and historic documents, seven of Australia’s leading historians reveal the true stories of individuals caught in an epic drama between 1788 and 1993.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

Jandamarra and the Bunuba resistance book cover

Authors: Banjo Woorunmurra, Howard Pedersen (2016).

The thrilling story of the great warrior who turned from police assistant to resistance fighter.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

Hidden In Plain View

Author: Paul Irish (2017).

Aboriginal people are prominent in accounts of early colonial Sydney, yet we seem to skip a century as they disappear from the historical record, re-emerging. 

Available at UNSW Bookshop

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy cover

Authors: Gary Foley, Andrew Schaap, Edwina Howell (2013).

The 1972 Aboriginal Embassy was one of the most significant Indigenous political demonstrations of the twentieth century.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

The Tall Man

Author: Chloe Hooper (2010).

The case of Mr Doomadgee’s death has been one of the most prolonged investigations in the criminal justice system for an Indigenous community.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

Everything you Need to Know About the Referendum to Recognise Indigenous Australians

Authors: Megan Davis, George Williams (2015).

This book details how our Constitution was drafted, and shows how Aboriginal peoples came to be excluded from the new political settlement.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

Trustees on Trial

Author: Rosalind Kidd.

Rosalind Kidd uses official correspondence to reveal the extraordinary extent of government controls over Aboriginal wages, savings, endowments and pensions in twentieth century Queensland. 

In a disturbing indictment of the government's $4000 reparations offer, Kidd unpicks official dealings on the huge trust funds compiled from private income and community endeavours, showing how governments used these finances to their advantage, while families and communities struggled in poverty.

Casting the evidence in terms of national and international litigation, particularly cases relating to government accountability for Indigenous interests, Kidd makes a powerful case that the Queensland government should be held to the same standards of accountability and redress as any major financial institution. Trustees on trial is a timely warning for all other Australian jurisdictions to consider their liability for Aboriginal money taken in trust.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

A Handful of Sand cover

Author: Charlie Ward (2016)

50 years ago, a group of striking Aboriginal stockmen in the remote Northern Territory heralded a revolution in the cattle industry and a massive shift in Aboriginal affairs. Now, after many years of research, A Handful of Sand tells the story behind the Gurindji people’s famous Wave Hill Walk-off in 1966.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

Editors: Bronwyn Carson, Terry Dunbar, Richard D. Chenhall, Ross Bailie (2007)

Highly respected contributors examine the long-term health impacts of the Indigenous experience of dispossession, colonial rule and racism.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

Rob Riley book cover

Author: Quentin Beresford (2006)

Widely regarded as one of the great Aboriginal leaders of the modern era, Rob Riley was at the centre of debates that have polarised views on race relations in Australia: national land rights, the treaty, deaths in custody, self-determination, the justice system, native title and the Stolen Generations.

He tragically took his own life in 1996, weighed down by the unresolved traumas of his exposure to institutionalisation, segregation and racism, and his sense of betrayal by the Australian political system to deliver justice to Aboriginal people. His death shocked community leaders and ordinary citizens alike.

Set against the tumultuous background of racial politics in an unreconciled nation, the book explores Rob's rise and influence as an Aboriginal activist. Drawing on perspectives from history, politics and psychology, this work explores Rob's life as a 'moral protester' and the challenges he confronted in trying to change the destiny of the nation.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

Welcome to Country cover

Author: Marcia Langton (2018)

This is a completely new and inclusive guidebook to Indigenous Australia and the Torres Strait Islands.

Available at UNSW Bookshop

Author: Lionel Fogarty.

This is the first selected edition of Lionel Fogarty’s poetry covering nearly forty years of his writing; it contains 174 poems from each of his eleven published collections, along with a range of unpublished poems up till the present. The volume features an introduction, biography, notes and glossary and has been put together with the full cooperation of the poet.

Return to Uluru cover single

Author: Mark McKenna (2021)

Return to Uluru explores one event in 1934 – the shooting at Uluru of Aboriginal man Yokununna by white policeman Bill McKinnon, and subsequent Commonwealth inquiry. Although focusing on one key story, the book speaks to a larger history of dispossession and race relations in Australia. 

Available at UNSW Bookshop


Warwick Thornton’s documentary about the southern cross – an image synonymous with Australia that has triggered heated discussion on race relations in recent years. Thornton explores the ancient relationship between Indigenous people and the constellation in light of its more recent use. Winner, Digital History Prize, NSW Premier’s History Awards, 2018.

Aboriginal detective Jay Swan returns to his home town and his first case is the murder of an Aboriginal teenager whose body is found under the highway trucking route outside of the local community. Swan is alienated from both the white-dominated police force and the Aboriginal community, as he begins to uncover a complex web of crime that has been plaguing the community. This is an outback noir film that echoes the modern day response to the deaths of young Aboriginal people.

A moving story of the strength and resilience of three generations of Aboriginal women who are pushed back together when Karen, the daughter is released from prison and is reunited with her mother. Karen’s mother, Lois has been looking after Karen’s young daughter who has no intentions of letting Karen’s daughter back into her life. Karen embarks on a journey of betterment and self discovery, whilst living in a women’s shelter, hoping to prove to her unforgiving mother that she has changed and her dark past is behind her.

Inspired by real events, Sweet Country is set in the 1920s in the outback, Northern Territory. Sam, an Aboriginal stockman in his middle-ages works for Fred the charitable Preacher. Harry Marsh a caustic war veteran takes over the appointment as the new station Operator. His relationship with Sam deteriorates culminating a violent shootout as Sam defends himself. Sam flees the station with his pregnant wife in tow as a hunting party tries to track them down. Eventually, Sam turns himself over to the authorities and a trial for the charge of murder begins. Special Jury Prize – Venice Film Festival

A young girl’s parents discover that their daughter as gone missing in the Australian outback. After his involvement in the search is refused by the girl’s racist father, an Aboriginal tracker watches as every trace of the missing girl is stamped to dust by the white men involved in the search. As the search remains unsuccessful the mother makes a decision to take matters into her own hands.

Based on the Doris Pilkington novel, Garimara, this film is the story of three girls who are stolen from their families and escape to follow a 2400km wire fence back home.

The Sapphires tells the true story of an allfemale Aboriginal Australian singing group who are discovered by an Irish talent scout and travel to Vietnam during the war to entertain the troops.

Five Aboriginal women invite viewers to walk with them as they share some of their earliest memories as little girls that were forcibly taken from their families and Recommended Films 26 placed into state care by the Australian government. Allegedly employed as servants, these girls, now older women, possessed no autonomy over their own lives as they were prisoners in their roles of domestic servitude. All too often that centred around a cycle of abuse, rape and enslavement, with consequences that echo powerfully to this day. This compelling documentary is a testimony to a concealed and underacknowledged part of Australian history.

Dutch-Australian filmmaker Rolf de Heer has directed a stunning triptych of films in tandem with Aboriginal screen icon David Gulpilil and it rightly deserves inclusion here. Each of the films investigates a very different facet of Indigenous culture and de Heer has said of this unofficial trilogy that he sees himself as the conduit through which Gulpilil’s stories are told.

An award-winning documentary that tells the true story of Eddie Koiki Mabo – the man behind the landmark court battle that changed the course of Indigenous history in Australia.

From celebrated director Warwick Thornton, Samson and Delilah is a harrowing and depiction of the brutal reality of the cultural divide still evident in Australia told through the story of young Aboriginal lovers. A film that will stay with you forever.

Described as “one of the most significant documentary series in the history of Australian television” First Australians is a seven episode series that traces the history of this land – from the birth of humanity on this continent according to the Dreaming to the aftermath of Eddie Mabo’s native title victory.

Adapted from the play by Louis Nowra, Radiance follows three Indigenous sisters as they reunite for their mother’s funeral. It explores the impacts of child removal and intergenerational trauma with black humour and emotional monologues reflecting its origins on the stage. It is Rachel Perkins’ directorial debut on a feature film.

The only film about the events surrounding the establishment of the Aboriginal tent embassy on the lawns of Parliament House in 1972, this is an historic document, integral to comprehension of the Aboriginal political struggle. It incorporates many interviews plus footage from the demonstrations and arrests at the embassy.

Discover more

UNSW's Indigenous Strategy commits to increasing the physical presence of Aboriginal culture on campus. It also aims to nurture a sense of understanding, awareness and respect for Country and the cultural footprint of UNSW's campuses.

Give Back is a characteristic of both UNSW and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and the Indigenous Strategy makes giving back to Indigenous communities a primary value of UNSW.

Developing a pathway and pipeline to 'Grow Our Own' Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars, academics and staff is a vital element of our Indigenous Strategy.