Aboriginal Victorians: A history since 1800 by Richard Broome


Early Europeans saw Victoria and its rolling grasslands as Australia felix-happy south land-a prize left for them by God. For its original inhabitants, their Country was home and life, not to be relinquished without a fierce struggle.

Richard Broome tells the story of the impact of European ideas, guns, killer microbes and a pastoral economy on the networks of kinship, trade and cultures that the First Nations people of Victoria had developed over millennia. He shows how families have coped with ongoing disruption and displacement, and how individuals and groups have challenged the system. With painful stories of personal loss as well as many successes, Broome outlines how Aboriginal Victorians survived near decimation to become a vibrant community today.

Aboriginal Victorians won the NSW Premier’s History Awards Australian History Prize and the Victorian Community History Awards Best Print Publication Award, and was short-listed for the Human Rights Awards Non-Fiction Award. This second edition has been updated throughout, and covers the Yoorrook Justice Commission and treaty negotiations.

‘As an Aboriginal Victorian, I am sincerely grateful that Richard Broome has produced a refreshed, renewed, and empirically rich historical study in this second edition. We as a State, indeed as a Nation, must seriously approach truth-telling and ponder the possibility of a treaty. I can think of no better place to start than here in this book.’ – Professor Lynette Russell AM, Monash Indigenous Studies Centre

‘Richard Broome is to be congratulated for writing this history in a style that is easy to read, very informative and brings the past to the present.’ – Jim Berg, JP, Gunditjmara man, founder and former director of the Koorie Heritage Trust

‘One of the most important books written about our corner of the planet…It stands alongside the great Victorian histories of Margaret Kiddle, Geoffrey Serle and Graeme Davison.’ –Professor Janet McCalman in Meanjin

‘This finely crafted and wonderfully compassionate book deepens our understanding of the history of colonialism.’ – Bain Attwood, Professor of History, Monash University