Drawing from firsthand accounts, court testimony, and contemporary records, this history tells the story of Coranderrk, an Aboriginal community that operated successfully as a supplier of wheat and hops to Melbourne before an Aboriginal Protection Board–spurred Parliamentary Inquiry in 1881 deprived it of the bulk of its workforce. The first-person testimonies of both the Aboriginal witnesses and their non-Aboriginal allies and adversaries reveal the tensions inherent in the situation and provide a deeper and more accurate understanding of the shared colonial past of modern-day Australians. The historical introduction to and extracts of the events are supplemented by biographies of the witnesses, a range of historical images, and stills from the Ilbijerri Theatre verbatim-theater production of Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country. The primary sources and the dramatic production based on them tell an inspirational, fascinating story of a sustained campaign for justice, land rights, and self-determination.

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