Many of these resources are created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and peoples. This Hub features the works of extraordinary people with extraordinary skills, knowledge and passion.
This Hub was made available during 2017’s National Reconciliation Week (NRW). The theme for #NRW2017 is ‘Let’s take the next steps‘ – a reflection on how far we’ve come on the national reconciliation journey, and an invitation to all Australians to join the ongoing journey to reconciliation.
Reconciliation is intrinsic to Amnesty International; it speaks to the very core of our work championing human rights for everyone.
We encourage you to take time to check out and share these resources. You’re guaranteed to learn something new which will guide you as you take your next steps towards reconciliation.
Online resources and suppliers
Amnesty International is a member of Supply Nation. Here you can find Indigenous owned businesses. Follow the above link and search by state, activity or business.
Each year Reconciliation Australia puts together resources for NRW including posters, fact sheets, guides for churches and schools, screen savers and more.
This 2017 resource has great ideas and suggestions for schools on how they can participate in reconciliation. It includes links to TedX talks, reading lists and more.
Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning supports schools and early learning services across Australia to develop environments that foster a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions.
Reconciliation Australia’s learning hub ‘Share our Pride’ has a range of resources including a 5 step learning program and recommended books, films and people.
Sign up to their mailing list to learn about Aboriginal culture and history, including
A new online course from the University of Sydney’s National Centre for Cultural Competence uses Aboriginal experiences and narratives of Sydney to explore the key themes and capabilities of cultural competence.
This CCCA course is designed to provide you with foundation knowledge about the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia, their cultures, and the effects of colonisation and government policies and practices. It is the ONLY course in Australia that is NATIONALLY ACCREDITED, COMPETENCY BASED and available ONLINE meaning the course can be completed at work, at home and at a pace suitable for you.
An Indigenous twitter account that has more than 28,000 followers, and over 250 Indigenous hosts on the account have shared thousands of stories, facts, reports, pictures, and laughs with an ever increasing audience. We pride ourselves on an ethic of respect for Indigenous knowledge, successfully providing an autonomous news service.
A collection of readings (fiction and non-fiction) including reports, books and online articles
Reconciliation Australia has a comprehensive list of readings including reports, important documents, and a range of fiction and non-fiction books and readings.
Like everyone, Indigenous people have all of the rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However Indigenous people have specific rights because of their unique position as first peoples of their nations as set out in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Bringing them home report (1995 – 1997) was a national inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, it was released on 26 May 1997 (Sorry Day)
In 1987 a royal commission was established to investigate 99 Aboriginal deaths in custody over a 10-year period. On 15 April 1991 the commission delivered a report, which gave 339 recommendations. There has been a piecemeal attempt to implement the recommendations, which varies according to jurisdiction.
This report contains the observations of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, on the situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. The report is based on exchanges of information with the Government, indigenous peoples and other interested parties, including during the Special Rapporteur’s visit to Australia from 17 to 28 August 2009.
In March 2017, the new Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples came to Australia for a second country visit. Her report is due in September 2017, you can see her end of mission statement here.
By Clare Land
The thinking and learning of many community members and activists about how to work in support of Aboriginal struggles. The book is based on interviews with 24 Aboriginal community members and non-Aboriginal activists, and includes what the author, Clare Land, has personally learned through her own activist work in southeastern Australia.It includes inspirational flyers and documents created by people pursuing land rights, black power and sovereignty in southeast Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane), and their supporters. Gary Foley, Tony Birch and Marjorie Thorpe provided direction and critical feedback for the research that went into the book. They are members of the political community that the work was created for. Robbie Thorpe is a key influence on the book.
By Stan Grant
Australian values? Where have I heard that lately? Talking to My Country is that rare and special book that talks to every Australian about their country – what it is, and what it could be. It is not just about race, or about indigenous people but all of us, our shared identity. Direct, honest and forthright, Stan is talking to us all. He might not have all the answers but he wants us to keep on asking the question: how can we be better? See Book trailer by Stan Grant.
By Anita Heiss
Over 1000 Japanese soldiers break out of the No.12 Prisoner of War compound on the fringes of Cowra. In the carnage, hundreds are killed, many are recaptured, and some take their own lives rather than suffer the humiliation of ongoing defeat. But one soldier, Hiroshi, manages to escape. At nearby Erambie Station, an Aboriginal mission, Banjo Williams, father of five and proud man of his community, discovers Hiroshi, distraught and on the run. Unlike most of the townsfolk who dislike and distrust the Japanese, the people of Erambie choose compassion and offer Hiroshi refuge. Mary, Banjo’s daughter, is intrigued by the softly spoken stranger, and charged with his care. For the community, life at Erambie is one of restriction and exclusion – living under Acts of Protection and Assimilation, and always under the ruthless eye of the mission Manager. On top of wartime hardships, families live without basic rights.Love blossoms between Mary and Hiroshi, and they each dream of a future together. But how long can Hiroshi be hidden safely and their bond kept a secret?
By Anita Heiss
The story of an urban-based high achieving Aboriginal woman working to break down stereotypes and build bridges between black and white Australia. ‘I’m Aboriginal. I’m just not the Aboriginal person a lot of people want or expect me to be.’
By Bruce Pascoe
Book of the Year and the Indigenous Writer’s Prize in the 2016 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required.
Edited by Megan Davis & Marcia Langton
Why should Indigenous people have a direct say in the decisions that affect their lives? Australia is one of the only liberal democracies still grappling with such a fundamental question. 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. This is a collection of essays by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander thinkers and leaders including Patrick Dodson, Noel Pearson, Dawn Casey, Nyunggai Warren Mundine and Mick Mansell. Each essay explores what recognition and constitutional reform might achieve or not achieve for Indigenous people.
By Lesley and Tammy Williams
The true story of a mother and daughter’s experiences growing up in Queensland. Lesley grew up under the act on a mission in SE Queensland until she was forced to leave. Tammy grew up with her mum in Brisbane and learned of her mother’s life and struggles growing up under the Act.
Luke Pearson, Sophie Verass, NITV, October 2016
How much do we actually know about the concept and history of this sociological term, which is rapidly gaining popularity?
Andrea Booth, Luke Briscoe, NITV, March 2017
NITV has put together a list of 20 trailblazing Indigenous women who have changed Australia.
Chris Graham, New Matilda, April 2016
Aboriginal people got one national apology. But ANZACs have had more than 100 thank you’s, writes Chris Graham.
Luke Pearson, The Guardian, April 2016
Broadcaster Kyle Sandilands says ‘get over it, it’s 200 years ago’, but it’s everything that has happened since that is the real problem.
Celeste Liddle, SBS, March 2017
Terms like “First Australians” and “Aboriginal Australians” may be well intentioned, but along with concepts like “Real Australians,” they can do more harm than good for Aboriginal rights. Celeste Liddle explains.
abc.net.au May 2017
On May 27, 1967, Australians voted in a referendum to change how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were referred to in the Constitution. Explore these personal stories, opinions and historical recordings of what happened. How far have we come since 1967?
Indigenous Rights Team, Amnesty International, July 2015
During NAIDOC Week 2015, Amnesty’s Indigenous Rights Team shared what motivates them to work for Indigenous rights.
Rodney Dillon, May 2017, Huffpost
In 50 years since the referendum on Indigenous rights, we have been continuously let down.
Movies and documentaries
Amnesty International Action Centres have a range of films available, including from the list below. Please contact your Activist Support Coordinator to find out more.
SBS and NITV have partnered to launch Reconciliation Film Hub, an online platform that supports organisations to host screenings of documentaries from Australia’s leading Indigenous ﬁlmmakers. It’s a great initiative that we recommend you check out here.
Samson and Delilah are two 14-year-olds who live in an Aboriginal community near Alice Springs. Samson and Delilah’s world is small. When tragedy strikes they turn their backs on home and embark on a journey of survival. Lost, unwanted and alone they discover that life isn’t always fair, but love never judges.
A feature film looking at the lives of three Yolngu teenagers who once shared a childhood dream of becoming great hunters together, but are caught in a collision between the modern world of rap, football, street cred and the oldest living culture on earth. Botj is walking on the wild side, a lost soul in search of a place to belong. Milika is more interested in football and girls than any of the traditional knowledge he is being taught. Only Lorrpu seems to care about the dream any more. Their paths are diverging, and he is the only one who can see it.
The Sapphires is set in 1969 and tells the story of the McCrae sisters, four Aboriginal singers from country Victoria whose biggest dream is to become as famous as their Motown idols. The film is an adaptation of the stage musical, when four talented singers from a remote Aboriginal mission are discovered by an unlikely talent scout. Plucked from obscurity and branded as Australia’s answer to The Supremes.
The true story of three aboriginal girls who are forcibly taken from their families in 1931 to be trained as domestic servants as part of an official Australian government policy. They make a daring escape and embark on an epic 1,500 mile journey to get back home – following the rabbit-proof fence that bisects the Australian continent – with the authorities in hot pursuit.
Prison Songs is a groundbreaking documentary that gives voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Shot entirely behind bars, this funny yet achingly sad account of eventful lives is delivered via the musical performances of real inmates.Prison Songs takes the audience on a journey where the real lives of strangers unfold. This close connection with inmates at Berrimah awakens a real empathy with audiences’ hearts. The empathy created by the great storytelling in Prison Songs becomes the vital fuel needed to spark positive action.
In 2007 a group of Aboriginal women from the Fitzroy Valley in Australia’s remote northwest decided enough was enough. Their community has experienced 13 suicides in 13 months. Reports of family violence and child abuse were commonplace and alcohol consumption was rising at an alarming rate. Something had to be done. Something had to change. A group of courageous Aboriginal women from across the Valley came together to fight for a future. For everyone in their community. The results were inspiring and the healing has now begun.
Putuparri and the Rainmakers is a universal story about the sacred relationship between people and place. It takes audiences on a rare and emotional journey to meet the traditional rainmakers of Australia’s Great Sandy Desert who have fought a twenty-year battle to win back their traditional homeland. There’s also this great study guide to go with the film. Chat to your local Action Centre about purchasing a copy of the film.
To get an idea of what life is like as a young, Indigenous, A-class offender, we followed rapper and proud Yorta-Yorta man Briggs inside Reiby, a Juvenile Justice Centre on the outskirts of Sydney. This documentary is part one of Over Represented, our series on Indigenous incarceration. For parts two and three, watch Darwin Night Patrol and Barred Calls. You can also check out The Incarceration Issue, a special edition from VICE.
An excellent short-documentary filmed in north-western New South Wales; this documentary looks at one man’s fight against the scourge of Indigenous imprisonment in his community. Inside Out tells the story of a pastor and former prison guard, Uncle Isaac Gordon, whose dream is to see the numbers of Aboriginal youths heading to jail slashed. Gordon wants to build a ‘healing centre’ for troubled Aboriginal young people, built on his family’s ancestral land. Great film to show at your group meeting to introduce activists to the campaign or during a speakers panel / event.
NITV is an Australian television channel that broadcasts programs produced primarily by Indigenous people. Check out their website or follow them on Twitter or Facebook to keep up to date with the latest Indigenous news!
The fortnightly national Indigenous newspaper – 100% Aboriginal owner, 100% self funded, you can also follow on Facebook.
In Australia today, our Original Nations people continue to suffer huge disadvantages, both culturally and socially as a direct consequence of our shameful history of racism and violence. Many of Australia’s First Nations people continue to feel the effects of generational trauma on a daily basis: critical rates of youth suicide, low life expectancy, unemployment, cycles of incarceration, isolation and substance abuse. Desert Pea Media (DPM) is a response to this.
Established in 2002, DPM is a registered charitable organisation that works with individuals and communities in regional and remote areas in Australia to support them to create important social and cultural dialogue
The Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) came to life in 1982 with the establishment of radio station 8KIN FM. Aboriginal-owned media was seen as being vital to the broad educational and community development aspirations of Aboriginal people in Central Australia. Radio was a way to give voice to Aboriginal hopes and dreams as well as being a tool to maintain and sustain the culture and languages of Central Australia. Originally offering music and programming in Arrernte, Pitjantjatjara, Luritja and Warlpiri, today CAAMA broadcasts in half a dozen more Indigenous languages, reaching communities across Australia.
The National Indigenous Radio Service Limited (NIRS) is a national program distribution service that delivers four radio channels of content produced by First Nations broadcasters via satellite distribution and via the internet. Operating from a central hub in Brisbane, NIRS receives programs from a majority of the 180+ First Nations broadcasting services across Australia. Arguably, the NIRS satellite footprint is the largest for a First Nations radio network in the southern hemisphere, if not the world. Given this, NIRS and its programs are unique within the Australian media environment. Over 120 Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services (RIBS) units, 23 Indigenous radio stations and 120 Community Broadcastes receive NIRS. To learn more about our network simply explore our new Google Map interface which show where each and every radio station is located, its website details and even includes a streaming link in some cases.
PAKAM is an association of Indigenous media producers and broadcasters in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia. Our members operate thirteen BRACS (Broadcasting for Remote Aboriginal Communities Scheme) community television and radio stations and six larger town-based community radio stations.
Other community radio broadcasters
There are many more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander radio stations around the country. The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia is helpful in finding your local Indigenous radio station. Simply go to the website, enter in your suburb or postcode, select Indigenous from ‘Community Served’ drop down menu and click apply and local stations will appear.
- What are Aboriginal Land Councils and what do they do?
- National list of Aboriginal Land Councils
- Aboriginal Land Councils can assist with Welcome to Countries.
The NNTC is an alliance of Native Title Representative Bodies and Native Title Service Providers (NTRBs/NTSPs) from around Australia, formally incorporated in November 2006. Their mission is to maximise the contribution of native title to achieving and improving the economic, social and cultural participation of Indigenous people.
This Hub is not exhaustive. We will continue to update this with further resources. Keep your eyes out for updates. As you can see, a lot of the resources are from other organisations – this doesn’t mean that we necessarily agree with all of the content all of the time. If you have concerns about any of the content or if you know of a resource that we should add please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org.