In order to get more accurate results, our search has the following Google-Type search functionality:
If you use '+' in front of a word, then that word will be present in the search results.
ex: Harry +Potter will return results with the word 'Potter'.
If you use '-' in front of a word, then that word will be absent in the search results.
ex: Harry -Potter will return results without the word 'Potter'.
If you use 'AND' between two words, then both of those words will be present in the search results.
ex: Harry AND Potter will return results with both 'Harry' and 'Potter'.
If you use 'OR' between two words, then bth of those words may or may not be present in the search results.
ex: Harry OR Potter will return results with just 'Harry', results with just 'Potter' and results with both 'Harry' and 'Potter'.
If you use 'NOT' before a word, then that word will be absent in the search results.
ex: Harry NOT Potter will return results without the word 'Potter'.
Placing '""' around words will perform a phrase search. The search results will contain those words in that order.
ex: "Harry Potter" will return any results with 'Harry Potter' in them, but not 'Potter Harry'.
Using '*' in a word will perform a wildcard search. The '*' signifies any number of characters. Searches can not start with a wildcard.
ex: Pot*er will return results with words starting with 'Pot' and ending in 'er'. In this case, 'Potter' will be a match.
Tarenootairer (c.1806-58) was still a child when a band of white sealers bound her and forced her onto a boat. From there unfolded a life of immense cruelty inflicted by her colonial captors. As with so many Indigenous women of her time, even today the historical record of her life remains a scant thread embroidered with half-truths and pro-colonial propaganda.
But Joel Stephen Birnie grew up hearing the true stories about Tarenootairer, his earliest known ancestral grandmother, and he was keen to tell his family's history without the colonial lens. Tarenootairer had a fierce determination to survive that had a profound effect on the course of Tasmanian history. Her daughters, Mary Ann Arthur (c.1820-71) and Fanny Cochrane Smith (c.1832-1905), shared her activism: Mary Ann's fight for autonomy influenced contemporary Indigenous politics, while Fanny famously challenged the false declaration of Indigenous Tasmanian extinction.
Together, these three extraordinary women fought for the Indigenous communities they founded and sparked a tradition of social justice that continues in Birnie's family today.
From the early Bass Strait sealing industries to George Augustus Robinson's 'conciliation' missions, to Aboriginal internment on Finders Island and at Oyster Cove, My People's Songs is both a constellation of the damage wrought by colonisation and a testament to the power of family. Revelatory, intimate and illuminating, it does more than assert these women's place in our nation's story - it restores to them a voice and a cultural context.