I can’t believe this is my fourth year of putting together the Aussies Rule challenge and there are people who are still doing it. Thank you to everyone who plays along and picks up an Aussie book to read thanks to this challenge.
I originally started this challenge because all of the other reading challenges that were being put out were so American – only to be expected given they were being written by people from the US. But it broke my brain a little because there are so many great Aussie authors and no one was really encouraging people to read them, including the publishing marketing machine.
This year’s challenge is a little different – my theme this year is “Hell no anglo!”
Reading diversely is so incredibly important. It’s important to support those authors and let the publishers know that books by authors who are not white and straight are important. It is important for us to be exposed to other people’s experiences and worlds. It makes us better people, kinder and more empathetic.
This year’s challenge is exclusively to read books by First Nations Aussies and other Aussies of colour.
I’ve done a couple of other things a little differently this year – I’ve specified a specific author, a specific book and a specific publisher. (One of the great things about writing your own reading challenge is that you can do what you want, right?)
Oodgeroo was a figure that I remember from my childhood in the 80s. An activist and poet (she was the first Aboriginal woman to have a book published) I admired her very much. She has written many books, including children’s books so you shouldn’t have trouble finding one.
The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature is an excellent collection of some of the best writing by Aboriginal authors over two centuries.
Magabala Books exclusively publishes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors and illustrators. The company is independent and not for profit, and is owned and led by First Nations folk. They have fantastic titles available.
Here is the challenge – or it has it’s own page if you prefer. I hope you will enjoy participating in 2021.