Postdoctoral Researcher, Laura Rademaker has been awarded the 2021 Chief Minister’s Northern Territory History Book Award, along with co-authors Sally May, Donna Nadjamerrek and Julie Narndal for their book 'The Bible in Buffalo Country, Oenpelli Mission, 1925-1931'.
If we are to have truth telling about history, communities need to have access to these histories. The book was written in partnership with Injalak Arts and draws together documentary and photographic sources of the Oenpelli Mission in western Arnhem Land with community memory and interpretation of these sources. It emerged from community desire for access to the source documents of their own history and for their story to be known by the broader Australian public. The book also represents the beginning of what Rademaker hopes will be long-term collaborative research partnerships with the Gunbalanya community.
Co-author and Traditional Owner of Gunbalanya, Julie Gumurdul Narndal explained, “Mission histories are not just whitefella stories but Aboriginal stories, and Aboriginal people should be part of the telling. Story-telling and hearing about our past and our ancestors helps to keep us safe. This book tells our story from these early days – some good times and some bad times.”