The Last Thoughts of Kakadu Elder Bill Neidjie
Known as "Old Man" in this book, Bill Neidjie wanted to record aspects of his life for a younger generation of Gagadju, to help them look after their country and remember its stories, as well as for balanda, or non-Aboriginal people. Bill is perhaps best known for being central to the opening up of his land, which led to the creation of the world heritage–listed Kakadu National Park and for recommending it be leased to the Commonwealth Government for it to be a resource for all Australians.
Told in his own words, this beautifully nuanced, impressionistic account allows Neidjie to gently emphasize the issues of importance to him. Neidjie's words are complemented by Mark Lang's beautiful landscape photos. Structured in the cycle of the seasons, Old Man's story provides readers with insights into the annual transformation of landscape that are so integral to his life story.
This book is a powerful contribution to the history of northern Australia told by an iconic figure, and includes tales about many aspects of Aboriginal life and culture.
Recognizing that he was the last remaining speaker of Gagadju language, Neidjie broke with tradition and committed his knowledge to print.