Review of ‘Remembered by Heart’

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Review of ‘Remembered by Heart’

Forward by Sally Morgan. Various authors.

Publisher: Fremantle Press

Age Range: Upper Primary – Adult

Themes: Aboriginal Australians; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history; history; culture; community; family; identity; stories; belonging; resilience; stolen generation; colonisation; anthology.

Remembered by Heart

To add this book to your home, school or library collection click on title or image links.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures are a cross-curriculum priority for The Australian Curriculum: History;

Students will understand that contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities are strong, resilient, rich and diverse. The knowledge and understanding gained through this priority will enhance the ability of all young people to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia.

The Australian Curriculum: History values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. It celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories as part of the shared history belonging to all Australians.

They will learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples prior to colonisation by the British, the ensuing contact and its impacts. They will examine key policies and political movements over the last two centuries. Students will develop an awareness of the significant roles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people in Australian society.

ACARA, 2014, The Australian Curriculum: History

The Australian Curriculum: History, also places importance on students connecting with and referencing first-hand accounts of history, ‘Students will examine historical perspectives from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewpoint’ ACARA, 2014, The Australian Curriculum: History‘Remembered by Heart’,  provides fifteen rich and varied stories told by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people which give insight into Australia’s past from a deeply personal viewpoint. From life in the desert to growing up on a mission, enduring devastating policies in the 1930s to bravely seizing new opportunities in the 1960s, these stories reflect a diverse range of Aboriginal Australian experiences. Many of the stories will shock young people of today and leave them with a sense of sadness and disbelief. However, read as a whole collection, the overall themes of this anthology are of resilience and of cultural identity which has stood strong despite incredible injustice and suffering.

The forward by award winning artist and author, Sally Morgan, is heartfelt and provides a broad historical overview of the changing times and policies over the decades. There is no other way to say it; Sally Morgan’s acclaimed autobiography, ‘My Place’, BLEW.MY.MIND. when I first read it in my teen years and it remains one of my all-time favourite books. Not an easy read, but an essential one. In a similar way, the stories in ‘Remembered by Heart’, are, at times, not easy to read. In fact, my heart broke over and over as I read each personal story and the rage, disbelief and shame was overwhelming as I read accounts of what can only be described as extreme racism. However, there are also moments of light and laughter, shared understanding, kindness, immense pride and cultural boundaries crossed. There is hope. Whilst the past cannot be changed, the future can be different.

The final story ends;

I am proud of who I am. I am proud of where I’ve come from. I’m proud of what I’ve done and I’m proud of where I’m going. I am a Bundjalung woman who sees each new day as the beginning of the rest of my life. You can’t change the past, but you can live a different future.

Bronwyn Bancroft

Remembered by Heart‘ is an essential addition to every school library, in multiple numbers if at all possible!

Note to the teacher librarians out there – loan out and throw a copy at the stressed looking history teacher as they run past you, as this is a book that should not be overlooked. Try to not actually hit them with the book when you throw it.

And if you’ve not read ‘My Place‘…you should. And if you are a primary school or middle school teacher or parent, ‘My Place’ is available in younger reader editions…click on covers below to view details. And then there is Sally Morgan’s amazing children and grandchildren like Ambelin Kwaymulina. And then there is Bronwyn Bancroft…oh my list of favourite authors and illustrators is long…

9780949206312_myplacePBSallys Story

My Place for Young Readers – Part 1, ‘Sally’s Story’


My Place for Young Readers – Part 2, ‘Arthur Corunna’s Story’


My Place for Young Readers – Part 3, ‘Mother and Daughter’ 

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