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Chief Minister’s Northern Territory History Book Award, The Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages, NT Writers’ Festival


The announcement of 2021 Chief Minister’s Northern Territory History Book Award (see below) got us thinking about the history of our region, and the many ways it might be depicted, tested, and understood.

Of course we know our regional history goes back tens of thousands of years—and that the last couple of hundred years has often been fraught. Increasingly the voices of Aboriginal people are being heard, while at the same time we are getting more nuanced stories of the pastoral and mining industries.

Which is where our obsession—books—comes in!

The support by our readers at Red Kangaroo Books for the many history books we have has been heartening—so this week we focus on local histories, new and old. All for your reading pleasure at home or school (or in breaks at work!).

As Barak Obama put it: “The best history doesn’t just sit behind a glass case; it helps us understand what’s outside the case.”

Happy reading and best kanga wishes

Bronwyn, John, Stephanie, Jo, Thor, Kelly Lee & Bernadette

The Chief Minister’s Northern Territory History Book Award

The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory announced the winner of the 2021 Chief Minister’s Northern Territory History Book Award this week. This year’s winner was The Bible in Buffalo Country, Oenpelli Mission, 1925-1931, a book about the early years of a remote West Arnhem Land mission.

The panel also highly commended Maisie Austin, Matthew Stephen and the Cummings Family for their book, The Cummings Family: Family, Belonging and Connection to Country. 

NT Writers’ Festival … book your tickets!

NTWF 2021 | August 26-29 | Anpernirrentye | Everything is connected

The program has now been launched and tickets are on-sale!

“In the midst of the environmental and social upheaval of recent years, this year’s festival theme speaks to our interconnectedness – with each other and with all life on Earth. There are so many writers speaking to these themes and the NTWF is a perfect way to bring the best minds together as we grapple with our changing world.” Dani Powell, Festival Artistic Director

Head to Alice Springs News for Kieran Finnane’s wonderful review of the program launch_- A Festival Speaking To Our Times.

For more information and tickets NT Writers Festival website  or drop into the shop and pick up a program.

The Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages – We speak our Mother’s Tongue

Red Kangaroo Books has a long history of promoting Aboriginal languages from across our region, from children’s books to dictionaries—blessed as we are in having so many living languages in the region. Some, of course, are greatly endangered so we welcome the work of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal linguists across central Australia who work to reach the goal of “speaking our Mother’s tongue”. 

A joint project of Charles Darwin and the Australian National universities, Batchelor College and the NT Library has led to the establishment of the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages. It is a comprehensive survey and digital archive of endangered literature in Australian Indigenous languages of the Northern Territory and contains nearly 4000 books in 50 languages from 40 communities available to read online or download freely.

This is a living archive, with connections to the people and communities where the books were created. This will allow for collaborative research work with the Indigenous authorities and communities.

Red Kangaroo now has copies of their introductory book of the same name.