Monday, May 09, 2016

Boodgerie - by John Lay

John Lay wrote an excellent book about the Mid-Murray region of Australia and contact between new settlers and the indigenous Aborigines.  For more details go to

The book Boodgery is a narrative on the impact of the first 40 years of European occupation upon the Aboriginal people in the Swan Hill area.  It is a detailed account of early contact and paints a picture of the colonial mindset of 'terra nullis',. misunderstandings, some hopeful meetings, some disasters. A very good read for anyone concerned about the damage that can occur with 'white' settlement.

This book can be purchased  for $25 at

John Lay who is my brother, spent many years researching the topic of settlement and the Aboriginal tribes in the Swan Hill region and this year has published this excellent book which contributes to the narratives about early 'white' settlement in Australia, relations between tribes and newcomers. The writer has a compassionate viewpoint, uses many details and examples. This book is relevant to discussions in Australia today. When our family lived in Swan Hill, we as children, were never told much about the Aboriginal tribes who once lived along the Murray, not in school, not by hearsay. We only knew that a few families camped on the riverside behind the hotel across the river. I only know of one Aboriginal woman who schooled with me at the local Primary School. My father employed some Aboriginal men at the shearing sheds and my mother admired the strong grandmothers who shopped at the Op-Shop water tower in Swan Hill. That was the limit of our iknowledge then.

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