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Strangers on Country

Strangers on Country

Strangers on Country

ISBN: 9780642279552 By: Carole David Hartley, Kirsty Murray
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 32
Published: 2020
Publisher: National Library of Australia
Country of Publication: AU

Age range 8+

Giom, Anco and Duramboi are the names of just three
young shipwreck survivors and convict escapees who were given refuge by
Indigenous communities during the nineteenth century. No one knows exactly how
many received sustenance from the local people, but there are some documented
accounts of these experiences. Strangers
on Country includes the stories of six Europeans and the people who cared
for them.

To Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,
the first castaways and runaway convicts that arrived in their homes must have
appeared pretty scary. The strangers didn't speak their language and didn't understand
their ways, but they were desperately in need of refuge. Despite their fears,
the Indigenous hosts often treated the lost strangers with kindness, taking
pity on them and giving them food and shelter. When they returned to live among
white people, the castaways and convicts spoke fondly of the people who had
rescued them.

Based on historical records each story in this book
is told through two historical fiction narratives. The first is from the point
of view of an Indigenous person who befriends the stranger in their land. The
second is from the point of view of the castaway or convict who is given
refuge. At the end of each chapter, there is a section of facts and information.
Too often Australian history is told only from the point of view of the
Europeans who sailed here from across the world.

Richly illustrated and drawing on the extensive
collections of the National
Library of Australia, Strangers on
Country will inspire young readers to think about how all Australians today
can learn from traditional Indigenous ways of thinking and doing. When we
listen to and understand others, work with people, instead of doing things to
people, then we can all begin to adopt the wise ways of the past.

book was inspired by and based on Living
with the Locals: Early Europeans' Experience of Indigenous Life by John
Maynard and Victoria K. Haskins.