On the ground

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  • Published 20130903
  • ISBN: 9781922079985
  • Extent: 288pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

WHEN NOEL PEARSON launched The Quiet Revolution, the book of Marcia Langton’s 2012 ABC Boyer Lectures, he had the audience in the palm of his hand for almost an hour. Pearson spoke quietly and clearly about pathways to being ‘bourgeois’, as he called himself. ‘Why can’t Australians be proud of us being middle class? Why can’t non-Aboriginal folk in Australia support us in our quest to be part of an elite, to own our own homes and participate in the Australian economic and social fabric?’ he asked.

It was a great talk that explored the creation of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander middle class. Even if you heard the lectures, read the essays, the power of the words on the page put paid to the simplistic criticism that they were just a defence of the mining industry. This is a part of a much bigger project, a transformation, that for the first time means First Nations people are being trained and employed in all areas of the Australian workforce. And doing so in ways that retain and share their culture with others.

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