Making Change Happen: Black and White Activists talk to Kevin Cook about Aboriginal, Union and Liberation Politics

Publisher:
ANU E Press
Publication Type:
Book
Citation:
2013, 1
Issue Date:
2013-01
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This book is a unique window into a dynamic time in the politics and history of Australia. The two decades from 1970 to the Bicentennial in 1988 saw the emergence of a new landscape in Australian Indigenous politics. There were struggles, triumphs and defeats around land rights, community control of organisations, national coalitions and the international movement for Indigenous rights. The changes of these years generated new roles for Aboriginal people. Leaders had to grapple with demands to be administrators and managers as well as spokespeople and lobbyists. The challenges were personal as well as organisational, with a central one being how to retain personal integrity in the highly politicised atmosphere of the `Aboriginal Industry. Kevin Cook was in the middle of many of these changes as a unionist, educator, land rights campaigner, cultural activist and advocate for liberation movements in Southern Africa, the Pacific and around the world. But `Cookie has not wanted to tell the story of his own life in these pages. Instead, with Heather Goodall, a long time friend, he has gathered together many of the activists with whom he worked to tell their stories of this important time. Readers are invited into the frank and vivid conversations Cookie had with forty-five black and white activists about what they wanted to achieve, the plans they made, and the risks they took to make change happen.
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