Review Blog

Aug 20 2012

2013 Magabala Australian Indigenous Diary

cover image

Magabala Books, 2012. ISBN 978 921248 73 3.
(All ages) Highly recommended. Diary. This stunning diary produced by Magabala Books, is not just a diary, but a compendium of fascinating insights, bits of information, arresting photography and art works, all bound together in a hard cover spiral bound book that can be leafed through out of interest, used as a weekly diary and then kept as a reference for years to come.
Beginning with the covers and endpapers, the book brims over with art work. The covers featuring Freddie Timms' painting will stop people in their tracks, picking up the book where they see it to admire the bold work. Inside, the work of Edwin Lee Mulligan is featured and the back endpaper has a fold out map of the language groups of Indigenous Australia, a boon for anyone wanting to know the extent Aboriginal Australia before European settlement.
Each double page spread shows a week of days, and significant days in the Indigenous calendar are highlighted. At the top of the page is a Moment from History, which gives a snippet of information about Indigenous History. So we can find out about the 1963 eviction of people in Far North Queensland or the walk off at Wave Station in 1966, as well as significant days such as the day Uluru was handed back on October 26, 1985. Each time a page is opened, new information appears, making this far more than a diary. Each month begins with the beautiful photography by Wayne Quilliam and art work by a range of Indigenous artists, with notes telling the reader about the photographer and artist. The art work is then reprised on the edges of the pages for that month, reminding the user again of the work at the beginning of the month. At the top of each verso page is the month with the months before and after for reference.
The last few pages of the diary are committed to outlining the protocols used in preparing the diary and then information about he Arts and Culture of Indigenous Australia, making this a worthwhile addition to a school library, something to treasure for yourself or give as a gift. A glossary of some terms is followed by information about he artist, Wayne Quilliam and references to other artworks used in the dairy.
This lovely book is far more than a diary, it is a useful, up to date albeit brief, reference of Indigenous culture, illustrated with some outstanding works by contemporary artists and filled with pieces of information that will attract the attention of the user.
Fran Knight

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