Freedom Day : Vincent Lingiari and the Story of the Wave Hill Walk-off
Hardie Grant Children's Publishing, 2021
5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary, Upper Primary
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- Aboriginal Australians
- Australian Government policy
- Civil rights
- Cultural heroes
- Dagurangu / Kalkaringi / Wave Hill (Central NT SE52-08)
- First Nations people
- Gurindji people (C20) (NT SE52-08)
- Human rights
- Land rights
- Settlement and contacts
In this informative and moving picture book, Rosie Smiler tell the story of how her grandfather – Australian hero Vincent Lingiari – courageously led the Gurundji people in a walk-off from the Wave Hill Cattle Station in 1966. The years-long strike that followed grew into a First Nations land right movement. This historic walk-off is now celebrated by the Gurundji people with a Freedom Day festival.
This empowering book is both a reflection on an important part of Australia’s history, and a call to action. While the book ends on a hopeful note, it is also made clear that there is still much that needs to change. The narrative is both engaging and informative, the story told in an intimate first-person voice that is accessible for young readers of all ages.
The illustrations reflect both the heartbreak and hope of the story being told, with deep browns, reds, and oranges illuminating the beauty of the Australian landscape.
This book is designed to initiate conversation around First Nations history, land rights, courage, what it means to truly be a hero, and the adoption of the Uluru Statement.
Rosie Smiler is a Gurindji woman and the granddaughter of the great Gurindji leader Vincent Lingiari. Thomas Mayor is a Torres Strait Islander man born on Larrakia Country in Darwin. Samantha Campbell is an illustrator and graphic designer who is descended from the Dagoman people from Katherine.
- Thomas Mayor. YouTube. 28 September 2021. ‘Freedom Day – Vincent Lingiari & the story of the Wave Hill Walk-Off.’ The authors read their book to Gurindji children at Kalkarindji school, approximately 14 min https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXzijKQW_HE
- ABC News. 27 August 2022. ‘Video: Thousands celebrate Freedom Day Festival in NT’, 1 min 45 sec https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-27/thousands-celebrate-freedom-day-festival-in-nt/14034626
- First Nations TV. YouTube. 30 August 2022. ‘Wave Hill Walk Off Freedom Day NEWS.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwMYJVoWrXc
- Northern Territory National Indigenous Times, Jarred Cross. 25 August 2022. ‘Decades On, Wave Hill Walk Off Champion Vincent Lingiari’s legacy lives on for Gurindji Traditional Owners.’ https://www.nit.com.au/decades-on-wave-hill-walk-off-champion-vincent-lingiaris-legacy-lives-on-for-gurindji-traditional-owners/
- Uluru Statement Organisation. ‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart.’ Professor Megan Davis, member of the Referendum Council, reads out the Uluru Statement from the Heart for the first time in history on the floor of the First Nations Constitutional Convention https://ulurustatement.org/the-statement/
- Parliament of Australia. Daniel McKay. 19 June 2017. ‘Uluru Statement: A Quick Guide.’ https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1617/Quick_Guides/UluruStatement