The Library holds over 170 published biographies and autobiographies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This list below highlights some of the biographies in the Library's collection. As with all biographies, these works cover a broad range of themes and topics, from the Mission period to contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life.


Australian Dictionary of Biography (Freely available online)
The Australian Dictionary of Biography, which can be browsed by cultural heritage, has almost two hundred biographical entries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (Freely available online)
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (ABI) is a personal name index of published material held by AIATSIS. The ABI index contains some very limited biographical information. 

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Selected Print Resources

These resources must be requested through the catalogue unless otherwise specified.

Life b'long Ali Drummond : a life in the Torres Strait (2007)
By any standards Ali Drummond has led an extraordinary life. Orphaned young, Ali took to sea aged fourteen. Originally an apprentice, Ali learned from Japanese divers and became an expert diver for pearl shell, trochus and bêche de mer. Ali returned to his beloved Torres Strait. His remembrances are complemented by affectionate anecdotes from Ali's children.

Isabel Flick : The many lives of an extraordinary Aboriginal woman (2004)
Isabel Flick was always making trouble. This is her story, told in her own words and those of her family and friends. Isabel escaped the harsh controls of Toomelah Mission to the cotton fields of Wee Waa, cooked for the upper classes in Sydney's Rose Bay, marched in the street protests of Redfern and lobbied in the halls of Parliament House.

Home Girls : Cootamundra Aboriginal Home girls tell their stories (2012)
These are the life stories of Home Girls written from interviews. These stories suggest that survivors have a positive attitude and humour that help them deal with very difficult situtations that rose out of institutional upbringing. These stories are intended to mark the centenery for Aboriginl girls removed from families since 1912, for training and employment at the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls.

You are what you make yourself to be : the story of a Victorian Aboriginal family (1980)
This book, written by Philip Pepper and Tess De Araugo, provides an insight into Aboriginal life from 1842-1980. Philip tells stories about many Aboriginal families living in Gippsland as well as family trees, making this work an invaluable source of information for those researching their Aboriginal family history in this region.

Tags: Biography