‘These books cover Australian history as it’s never been written before- eight books that tell the ‘story’ of Australia, from the days of giant megafauna to the man indigenous nations, right up to 2010.’

 

Lavishly illustrated with Peter Sheehan’s hilarious cartoons, this is accessible history. Young people will glance through to laugh at the cartoons, be captured by the boxes of fascinating snippets, and then- often- go back and read the entire series.

           

Adults, too, may find this is the most readable (and comprehensive) history they have come across. Impeccably researched, mostly from primary sources instead of referring back to other history books, the Dinkum Histories covers everything from bushrangers to bushfires to how a drought helped to make us one nation.

Shipwreck, Sailors and 60,000 Years

In 1493 the Pope gave Portugal the half of the world that included eastern Australia. By 1770 the Dutch had claimed the western, northern and southern coastlines of the continent — and Cook claimed the east coast for the British in 1770. But unlike the Europeans who claimed New Holland as their own, many nations of Indigenous people had already been living here for tens of thousands of years...

Rotters and Squatters

Rotters and Squatters' continues the warts-and-all story of Australia from 1820 to 1850. This period saw new colonies founded and squatters spreading into new areas and taking the best land. 

Clashes with the Indigenous population were inevitable and often brutal. As the supply of convict labour dried up, free settlers began arriving and the demand for self-government grew.

Grim Crims and Convicts

For 60,000 years the rest of the world had pretty much left Australia and its Aboriginal nations alone. Then it became a home for Britain's criminals and poor. 

Now a con man had found gold and suddenly everyone was heading to Australia: adventurers, revolutionaries, camels ... Australia would never be the same.

It was an incredible idea — to found a colony of convicts eight months' sail away from Great Britain. In a land with no cities, no farms, no rich spices. Just savages in huts. 
The Dutch, the French and the Portuguese had known about this place for two hundred years — and had turned their noses up at it. The Chinese had known about it for even longer and they weren't interested either. 


 

Gold graves and glory

A nation of swaggies and diggers

The Australian colonies had come a long way since they were a dump for grim crims and convicts. Life was comfortable — at least for some.  But soon drought would send swaggies waltzing their matildas along the roads, and bad times would make politicians dream of uniting the country into one nation. And then a far-off war would create a different kind of digger. What they brought back home would make greater changes to Australia than gold ever did. 

Weevils, War and Wallabies

1920–1945 was an iconic period in Australian history: 

  • QANTAS founded.

  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge built.

  • Phar Lap wins the Melbourne Cup and dies in the US.

  • Don Bradman wows the world at the wicket and becomes the main target in the Bodyline series.

  • The Depression hits.

  • Australia enters WW II.

  • Aborigines lobby for full citizenship

Rockin', Rollin', Hair & Hippies

World War II was over and it was a good time to be Australian. 

Rock 'n' roll, television and the Olympics had come down under. But underneath it all was the menace of the Cold War; and then came the horrors of Korea and Vietnam. Why couldn't we all just get along? 

Booms, Busts and bushfires

Australia had changed before ... but slowly. Now everything was fast! Attitudes were evolving, technology was changing every aspect of lif, and people were starting to recognise the damage we were doing to our land — and the way Australia's Indigenous people had been mistreated. Our resources had made us a rich country, but how long could the good times last? 

 

© Jackie French