Media

MEDIA ALERT                                                                         Monday 23 October 2017

 LAUNCH OF WILD NEW NOVEL FROM HISTORIAN PETER BOTSMAN

A unique way of bringing history to Australian and international audiences will be released in November through a new book called Wakuwal (Dream).

Historian Peter Botsman, Hon Fellow at University of Melbourne, has written Wakuwal and, as his first work of fiction, it has taken many years to bring to fruition, through a long-term collaboration with two of the great people of North East Arnhem Land, Ms S D Gurruwiwi and Mrs P Batumbil Burarrwanga, their families and friends.

Wakuwal is an intercultural story that weaves non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal stories and experiences into a unique narrative on colonisation and its imposition and effects on indigenous Australia, and also on the people transported from one end of the world to another as punishment for trying to feed their families.

The Federal Member for Barton, the Hon Linda Burney MP, will be launching Wakuwal (Dream) in Sydney on 2 November 2017.

“I am delighted to be launching Wakuwal and I look forward very much to welcoming some of our friends from Arnhem Land to the November launch event in Redfern, Sydney,” Linda Burney said.

“Wakuwal is a very courageous and convincing attempt to create a new conversation between the peoples of the oldest living culture on earth, today’s non-indigenous Australians and Western cultural stories, through events that have occurred over more than 200 years.”

“It is a fascinating tale of hope and how faith and resilience can keep ancient knowledge alive, with optimism enduring in the face of ignorance and destruction,” Ms Burney said.

Peter Botsman says that through this book he is aiming to help people understand things that are important to both cultures.

Wakuwal tells history in a new way,” Botsman said. “Two hundred years of events are complicated, but when you can think of your own family members, it becomes more understandable. This is something that Aboriginal people have always done – they relate to time through the experiences of their grandfathers and grandmothers.”

Wakuwal is being published by Valentine Press, the vibrant print-on-demand publisher that offers an alternative for high quality writers.

Valentine Press principal Lyn Gain said she was very glad to publish such an exceptional work by Peter Botsman, long-time friend and associate from the days of Sydney’s Push.

“I am very proud to be in position to help bring this remarkable work of Peter Botsman’s to audiences,” Lyn Gain said.

“At Valentine Press we aim to help authors and readers alike benefit from high-quality published works that will enrich Australia’s cultural past, present and future. Wakuwal fits our objectives in all ways.”

“We are most happy too that Wakuwal is already attracting very strong support through readers’ comments by highly respected figures such as Melbourne University’s Professor Glyn Davis, Batumbil Burarrwanga from Arnhem Land, award-winning author and former speechwriter for Paul Keating, Don Watson, and many other great Australians,” Lyn Gain said.

The launch of Wakuwal will begin with a Welcome to Country by Allen Madden, and performance by dancers from North East Arnhem Land who are travelling to Sydney especially for the event.

Following the launch, which will include speeches by Linda Burney and Peter Botsman, there will be a preview screening of the film Dhukarr Yakthun (Remaking the Pathway), by Emma Hudson, in conjunction with Batumbil Burarrwanga.

For media registration, interviews and inquiries, please contact April Pressler – april.pressler@valentinepress.com.au or mobile 0412271744.

Background/further information

 

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