Celebrate books about the First Nations of Australia. Here, we're showcasing some of the leading Indigenous books and authors in Australia.

Learn about the First Nations of Australia with Routledge, and join us in honoring the cultures and experiences of Australia's Indigenous people. "As First Nations peoples, Aboriginal peoples have been living in Australia for approximately 65,000 years and are considered the oldest surviving culture in the world" (Walter et al., 2017, as cited in Shay et al., 2021).

Routledge is proud to have published work by thoughtful authors who have sought the truth and shared their perspectives on the First Nations of Australia. These texts offer a wide range of information on Indigenous Australians' activism, language, identity, and more. To learn more about the people of Australia's significant and vast history, check out our featured titles and authors below.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week - A Brief History

This week Australians pay respect and observance to the First Nations of Australia and the Aboriginal and Indigenous Melanesian people of the Torres Strait Islands, which are part of Queensland, Australia. NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Yet, the origin of NAIDOC is rooted in Aboriginal protest and activism.

After 150 years of oppression, on January 16th, 1938, the anniversary of the landing of the First Fleet, also known as Australia Day, a group of Aboriginal activists gathered at Australia Hall in Sydney. They met to address and resolve the current state of their living conditions and released a call to action stating the following:

WE, representing THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA, assembled in conference at the Australian Hall, Sydney, on January 26th, 1938, this being the 150th Anniversary of the Whiteman's seizure of our country, HEREBY MAKE PROTEST against the callous treatment of our people by the whitemen during the past 150 years, AND WE APPEAL to the Australian nation of today to make new laws for the education and care of Aborigines, we ask for a new policy which will raise our people TO FULL CITIZEN STATUS and EQUALITY WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.


Featured Authors

Howard Morphy the Author of Indigenous Books

Marnee Shay the Author

Rhonda Oliver The Author of Aboriginal Books


Featured Titles

Aboriginal Children, History and Health | Aboriginal Book



Aboriginal Children, History and Health

 Aboriginal Children, History and Health both an emblematic story of the frontier in northern Australia and a guide to the hidden, persisting causes of indigenous disadvantage.


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Aboriginal Family and the State



Aboriginal Family and the State

 It is rare to find an account of Aboriginal experience through time that integrates regional history, indigenous family life, and a critical treatment of the state so convincingly. This study of contemporary indigenous lives is striking both for its intimate accounts of belonging and for its decisive analysis of Australian race relations. 


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Indigenous Knowledge Production



Indigenous Knowledge Production
Navigating Humanity within a Western World

Indigenous Knowledge Production specifically demonstrates the use of autobiographical ethnicity as a methodological approach, where the writer draws on lived experience and ethnic background towards creative and academic writing.


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A History of Aboriginal Art in the Art Gallery of New South Wales |  Aboriginal Books



A History of Aboriginal Art in the Art Gallery of New South Wales

 It is rare to find an account of Aboriginal experience through time that integrates regional history, indigenous family life, and a critical treatment of the state so convincingly. This study of contemporary indigenous lives is striking both for its intimate accounts of belonging and for its decisive analysis of Australian race relations. 


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Learn More About Australian Indigenous History

Australia is a nation with a rich history and is composed of many unique cultures. First Nations Australians, Australia's first occupants, have lived and practiced their traditions on the land for over sixty thousand years.

While Indigenous Australians are frequently referred to as one large, singular community, there are actually two very different and distinct groups: Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

When we talk about Aboriginal Australians, we discuss those related to the individuals who inhabited Australia before Britain began its colonization in 1788. The Torres Strait Islander peoples, however, descend from residents of the Torres Strait Islands, a group of islands existing in what is known today as Queensland, Australia.

Between 750,000 and 1,250,000 Aboriginal Australians are estimated to have lived in Australia before the British invaded. Tragically, thousands of Indigenous people were killed due to withheld resources and great violence as settlers brutally seized their lands.

Currently, roughly 3% of Australians are of Aboriginal ancestry, with 250 different linguistic groups dispersed across the continent. Aboriginal Australians today still battle to preserve their culture and pursue both government recognition and reparation.

While the Indigenous people of Australia continue sharing their diverse cultures with each new generation through song, dance, ceremony, and language, much of their history has been lost or concealed. Sadly, because of this, unaltered documentation of Indigenous history and experiences is scarce.

Routledge's collection of indigenous books stands as an invaluable treasure, illuminating diverse cultures and perspectives with each page turned. These books are more than mere narratives; they are bridges to understanding, connecting readers to the rich culture of indigenous knowledge, history, and ways of life. They give voice to traditions that have often been marginalised, celebrating the resilience and wisdom of indigenous communities. 

 These Aboriginal books serve as a bridge between past and present, inviting readers to embark on a journey of understanding and reconciliation. In a world where the importance of preserving and celebrating Indigenous knowledge has never been clearer, our dedication to sharing Aboriginal voices through their collection of books is a crucial contribution to a more inclusive literary landscape.

Read more about NAIDOC Week

This day was and is known as the Day of Mourning. On January 16th, 1938, protestors marched through the streets of Sydney. The march was a prelude to a congress around a thousand people attended. This was one of the world's first major civil rights gatherings and set the stage for later counter-movements on Australia Day, which have since become more widely known, such as Invasion Day.

Some of the atrocities carried out by European settlers toward the Aboriginal and Indigenous people of Australia include 400 known massacres. There are at least 26 recorded instances of mass poisonings of Aboriginal Australians. And, of course, the unforgivable saga of the Stolen Children, in which Australian federal and state government agencies employed the mass removal of mixed-race children from their families. This brutality ensued between 1905, with some areas of the country still taking children through to the 1970s.

Yet, while the rest of Australia and its' new settlers celebrate Australia Day every year to mark their arrival, the aboriginal inhabitants of this beautiful country are still to this day reconciling with mass murder, stolen children, a rationed food supply, and sub-human rights compared to their white counterparts.

This week of observance affords us all the opportunity to take stock of these matters and to acknowledge the pain and strife that indigenous people living in Australia have endured and still fight against today.

Although, the week is celebrated within the Indigenous Australian communities, increasing numbers of government agencies, schools, and local councils are also participating in the annual celebrations. Every year NAIDOC Week celebrations are centered on a theme chosen by the national organizing committee. This year the theme is 'For Our Elders,' which recognizes that across every generation, Elders have played and continue to play an important role and hold a prominent place in communities and families.

Taylor & Francis is proud to shine a light on NAIDOC week and to show our participation in the annual celebration; we encourage healthy, open, and honest dialogue around these issues. If you would like to learn more about the European settlement in Australia and the history of its indigenous people, then you can browse related titles here.