Massacres to Mining: the Colonisation of Aboriginal Australia by Janine Roberts is a new edition of a seminal illustrated work of history that had an enormous impact in Australia when first published there in 1981, for it revealed AustraliasMoreMassacres to Mining: the Colonisation of Aboriginal Australia by Janine Roberts is a new edition of a seminal illustrated work of history that had an enormous impact in Australia when first published there in 1981, for it revealed Australias hidden story and its shame.
The eminent Australian literary figure Xavier Herbert wrote of the author: She handles her history with a restraint that makes it a work deserving to be established as a classic in our history. The effect on myself was profound. My task is to commend Massacres to Mining as the most telling exposure of the evil ever done. This powerful work documents, from both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal sources, the impact of British settlement on the Aborigines of Australia.
If you know about the American Indians but nothing about Australian Aborigines, this is the book for you. It is both fascinating and a myth-buster. It tells what life in Australia was like before the British arrived, why Aborigines were falsely said to be nomads, and dispels the myth that Aborigines did not fight for their land - by describing the widespread nature of the fighting that ensued, a fight that was still waged against terrible odds in the remote parts of Australia in the 1930s. It describes how the mining industry led the charge onto the remaining Aboriginal lands.
It tells, not just of the devastation caused by gold, uranium and diamond mining, but also of victories: of how a community removed in irons in the 1960s returned to reoccupy its land- how a nation whose ancestors defeated the Dutch in 1606 has now persuaded Shell to leave its strip-mining lease over 560 sq. miles of tropical forest rich in food sources.
It is however an ongoingstruggle. The book in an update tells how Aboriginal communities are today faced by renewed threats from uranium miners. This is a history for our times that tells of atrocities but points at ways to protect our earth by learning from the Aborigines. The author believes: Without understanding how things went wrong, we cannot build a future. Roberts studied Sociology at the LSE and has since spent over 15 years working with Australian Aborigines.
She has traveled with their elders throughout much of the Outback - and witnessed many of the events of recent times documented here. Her photographs are used throughout the book, along with cartoons by major artists. The book has received the endorsement of many Aborigines. It was the basis for the Grenada TV film Strangers in their Own Land and helped inspire the BBC/ABC film A Sacred Rite.
Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney invited her to testify at the US Congress and said: Janine Roberts is that rare individual who unflinchingly speaks truth to power. I count myself among the privileged of the world to know Janine and her work.