Books: Kayang & Me

By Kim Scott and Hazel Brown

This was another book that was recommended to me to read, this time thank you to Tony.

First of all let me say how well written it is by Kim Scott, when “Kayang” Hazel speaks it was as if she was there sitting in the same room telling you personally the stories that she is in fact telling Kim.

Kayang Hazel has had a remarkable life with more than its fair share of hardship, yet the resilience that has been necessary to survive shines through. Kayang Hazel is a Noongar who grew up in Western Australia’s South West, and suffered needlessly in some cases due to the Aboriginal act of 1905. This is not however a depressing tale it is in fact uplifting.

It shows that despite all that they have been through, the Indigenous Australians carry forgiveness in their hearts, but wish that now and again the rest of us would listen and embrace their knowledge and at the same time show them the respect they deserve.

In fact respect is a key word. When you read this book you respect the author Kim Scott for having the courage to broach the subject of a man who found himself caught between being a white man and an Aboriginal; His decision to embrace his cultural birthright, causing his children as well as him angst.

Respect for a woman who worked the land, brought up children, fought for her rights and those of her brothers and sisters. Respect that she is a font of knowledge, and respect that she acknowledged the problems that arose in the native settlements and had the courage to stand her ground and do what she knew was best.

Again this book should be read by our children as it is a part of our history whether we like it or not, and in most cases you learn more when you confront unpleasant memories than you do from others.

A wonderful read, I loved having Kayang Hazel talk to me, it was shame the conversation finished so soon.

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