When Europeans first arrived in the Kimberley, a turbulent era began for the Indigenous people.
To survive, they aligned themselves with white men through unspoken and unequal contracts of ownership and protection.
Aboriginal men were forced to fight for their own women, children and resources, and many were driven away from pastoral stations or gaoled.
Until 1968, when equal wages were finally granted, black pastoral workers received only a pocket money allowance and rations.
By then the stations no longer sustained them, and Aboriginal people gradually moved towards towns and reserves, where Welfare and Social Security became their only means of survival.
In this absorbing study, survivors of this devastating time speak openly to Mary Anne Jebb about first contact between blacks and whites, the arrival of Welfare, and the demise of pastoralism in the northern ranges.
Alongside their oral testimonies, the author draws on a range of written archives to explore what really happened during the settlement of the Kimberley.
About the Author Mary Anne Jebb lived, researched and worked in the Kimberley region of WA throughout the 1990s.
In 1996 she edited Emerarra: A Man of Merarra for five senior Aboriginal people, and two years later she was awarded her PhD in history.
She then moved to Perth, where she continued to work as an independent consultant in history and cultural mapping for various cultural, community and political organisations.
She is currently employed by the National Native Title Tribunal.
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Reviews of Blood, Sweat & Welfare:
Blood, Sweat and Welfare is one of the best books currently available about race relations on the pastoral frontier. It is required reading for anyone interested in Aboriginal history.
? Henry Reynolds