BACK ON COUNTRY
434 pages, W: 140mm, H: 215mm
“In the 1970s, for the first time in Australia, legislation was passed that provided for Aboriginal people to claim ownership of their traditional lands. This coincided with the transfer of mission stations and government settlements to the control of Aboriginal community councils.”
This is a novel about a turbulent week in the lives of a few Territorians, mainly in Darwin, on Goose Island, and in the rocky Arnhem Land Escarpment country, who are concerned about the plight and prospects of Aboriginal people. Gray Bridges, a cross-cultural communication specialist, goes to the island and is challenged by Mani Mangguulu's way of seeing his people's situation.
On the island, and back in Darwin, a string of disturbing events reveals deep-seated hostilities and tragic divisions, and after a gruesome murder, an underlying long-term story surfaces and puts certain things into clearer perspective, and also suggests a direction to look in order to see what is really needed for giving low impact, effective aid for survival and creative self-development..
A compelling story with powerful characters set in the Northern Territory of Australia. Culminating on top of the sacred Gujigari Rock of the Wainanda clan ... who will lose their nerve first?
Back on Country is being adapted for screen.
JACK GOODLUCK - AUTHOR
Jack Goodluck became an ordained Methodist Minister in 1960. Not wanting to be a “normal” suburban minister, Jack went to Arnhem Land. It was here that he set out to diminish the devastating effects of widespread prejudice and discrimination towards First Nation’s People. He helped First Nation’s People for over forty years.
Back on Country is a dynamic, multilayered drama portraying the early years of Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory via relationships among Indigenous and Balanda (European) characters as they navigate the tense interplay of colonial forces, paternalism and emerging values and practices of self determination, empowered by better mutual understanding and principals of ‘soft aid’.
A story as big as the Northern Territory itself, with respect for First Australians, “Back on Country” transports the viewer into places of deep resonance, reminding us how far we have come and how far we still have to go. After his clan wins their land rights claim, a young Aboriginal man named Mani is drawn into a political struggle between Government, Black Rights activists and his traditional culture – putting him in tension between his Indigenous loyalties and the Balanda way of life. An old white hunter responsible for a massacre years ago is found dead and Mani is accused of murder, and must prove his innocence, and protect his elder from government manipulators seeking to exploit ancestral land.
Copyright Graysonian Press and Heart Space Publications 2012. All Rights Reserved.