Matthew Tate finds a letter. It speaks of belonging and a mother he has never known. A semi-trailer and a freightless haul to the heart see him arrested and imprisoned in Alice Springs. Caged, haunted and alone, the 19-year-old is determined to find the truth.
Ben Fulton is a young, white lawyer from the city, working tenaciously for Aboriginal Legal Aid at the grinding coalface of the criminal (in)justice system in Central Australia. At the collision of Black and White, he too is searching.
Jordi Watts, a Warumungu woman, has no need to search. Walking lithely in two worlds, she runs the Aboriginal Legal Aid office in the alcohol-ravaged township of Tennant Creek. Jordi knows the beauty and pain of her people, holding both with the certainty of place. Matthew, Ben and Jordi come together in the violence of court and the vastness of Country, alive with the vibrating energy of its people, of culture, art, tragedy and love, as the truth of Matthew’s past is revealed. From this unravelling comes possibility ...
Profits made from the sale of this book will be donated to Country Needs People, an ACNC registered charity and non-profit in Australia supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sustainable management of land and sea. www.countryneedspeople.org.au
Early Praise for Belonging-
‘This is a beautifully written story of the ugly Black and White side of Anglo-Australian law and colonisation. The author gives the reader a rare view of law, law that forms a hard White crust of an Australia, one that covers and hides the deep vast beauty and Blackness of this ancient continent…
It is a tale of the tragedy that besets both survivors and perpetrators … but it is also a love story: a love of justice, a love of humanity and most importantly a love of Country and all that entails.
If you dream of really sharing this continent, then do yourself a favour and read this book!’
– Asmi Wood, Professor of Law, ANU
‘Evocative … transfixing… It is a story of the pervasive and traumatic effects of colonisation, a ‘justice’ system that indifferently churns through people, land and, above all, love. It is a story that both reaches into the past and points a hopeful path to the future.’
– Lorana Bartels, Professor of Criminology, ANU
‘A beautiful bridge between worlds, an urgent call for compassion, and an ode to different ways of knowing, told with love, respect and hope … Read it with an open heart and an open mind and pass it on to someone who needs it.’
– Tim Hollo, Executive Director of the Green Institute
‘This is a must read for young lawyers trying to gain an understanding of how to navigate their practice when working in Aboriginal communities.’
– Antoinette Carroll, Youth Justice Advocate
‘A fine epic novel in the tradition of Xavier Herbert. I didn't want it to end.’
– Peter Read AM, Author of Belonging: Australians, Place and Aboriginal Ownership