From September 1836 to December 1837, young Aboriginal clerks produced the Flinders Island Weekly Chronicle, a remarkable record of life on the island off Tasmania where a number of Aboriginal people had been forced to resettle. Copied by hand, it describes the settlement in often poignant terms 'I am much afraid none of us will be alive by and by as there is nothing but sickness among us. Why don't the black fellows pray to the king to get us away from this place?'
Starting with this extraordinary newsletter, Michael Rose has brought together examples of Aboriginal journalism from a wide range of Aboriginal and mainstream publications. He includes articles from early activists and others who used newspaper and magazine journalism in their fight for justice.
For The Record also offers the reader an unusual glimpse, through Aboriginal eyes, of key issues and events in Aboriginal and Australian history. Included in the dozens of articles selected: protests about poor treatment on reserves in the 1930s, an eyewitness account of a Maralinga atomic bomb test in the 1950s, Bill Rosser's reporting of life on Palm Island, Kevin Gilbert's passionate call for a formal treaty between Aboriginal people and the Australian government and Poel Pearson's commentary on the High Court's Mabo decision.
Veteran journalist and journalism lecturer Michael Rose has worked for many media organisations in a number of countries. He was Co-ordinator of Journalism studies at the University of Western Sydney, Nepean, between 1990 and 1995.
Preface and acknowledgements
A chronology of Aboriginal history
Introduction: You wouldn't read about it: Aboriginal print journalism
1 A captive audience: THE FLINDERS ISLAND CHRONICLE
2 The power of the press: ABO CALL
3 Transitional voices: WESTRALIAN ABORIGINE, CHURINGA, HARMONY, ALCHURINGA
4 Militant voices: Militant newspapers in the 1960s, '70s and '80s
5 The view from Sydney: KOORI BINA, AIM
6 Northern concerns: N.Q. MESSAGESTICK
7 Into the mainstream: IDENTITY, ABORIGINAL AND ISLANDER
8 A journal of record: LAND RIGHTS NEWS
9 A national voice: KOORI MAIL
10 Wider exposure: Aboriginal journalism in non-Aboriginal newspapers
Sources and listing of Aboriginal periodicals