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Zoom Bookclub: Richard Broome’s Aboriginal Victorians

June 9 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Although our book club is very new we have set an extremely high bar in that we’ve had great discussions with the authors every time. And June will be no different. Our choice for June is Richard Broome’s Aboriginal Victorians and we are delighted that Richard has agreed to join us. It is hard to predict what will be happening COVID-wise in 4 weeks but I think we can safely say that the meeting will be conducted by ZOOM – log-ins will be sent out closer to the date. If we are allowed to meet, members of the book-club are more than welcome to come to the RHSV and share a glass of wine, and other can join too by Zoom.

This book is a fascinating and sometimes horrifying story of Aborigines in Victoria since white settlement, from one of Australia’s leading historians. Early settlers saw Victoria and its rolling grasslands as Australia felix happy south land a prize left for Englishmen by God. However, for its original inhabitants this country was home and life, not to be relinquished without a fierce struggle.

Richard Broome tells the story of the impact of European ideas, guns, killer microbes and a pastoral economy on the networks of kinship, trade and cultures that various Aboriginal peoples of Victoria had developed over millennia. From first settlement to the present, he shows how Aboriginal families have coped with ongoing disruption and displacement, and how individuals and groups have challenged the system. With painful stories of personal loss as well as many successes, Broome outlines how Aboriginal Victorians survived near decimation to become a vibrant community today.

The first history of black-white interaction in Victoria to the present, Aboriginal Victorians traces the story of Aboriginal people through consultation and interviews with Aboriginal communities and families and rich historical research, to produce a compelling and even-handed epic. It won the NSW Premier’s History Awards Australian History Prize (2006) and the Victorian Community History Awards Best Print Publication Award (2007), and was short-listed for the Human Rights Awards Non-Fiction Award (2005).

‘Richard Broome is to be congratulated for writing this history in a style that is easy to read, very informative and brings the past to the present.’ – Jim Berg, JP, Gunditjmara man, founder and director of the Koorie Heritage Trust

‘This finely crafted and wonderfully compassionate book deepens our understanding of the history of colonialism.’ – Bain Attwood, Adjunct Professor, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, Australian National University


THE BOOK CHOSEN FOR JULY IS BRENDA NIALL’S Friends and Rivals: Four Great Australian Writers: Barbara Baynton, Ethel Turner, Nettie Palmer, Henry Handel Richardson


9 June Bookclub

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June 9
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288


RHSV, Gordon Moffatt Room
239 A'Beckett St
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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9326 9288