Oenpelli history wins Chief Minister’s Northern Territory History Award 2021
The winner of the 2021 Chief Minister’s Northern Territory (NT) History Book Award was announced at the NT Library today.
The Bible in Buffalo Country, Oenpelli Mission, 1925-1931 written by Sally K May, Laura Rademaker, Donna Nadjamerrek and Julie Narndal Gumurdul was selected as the winner from four finalists out of a field of nine entries. The winning book highlights six difficult years in the lives of missionaries Alf and Mary Dyer, in their quest to bring Christianity to a former buffalo shooting camp in Oenpelli (Gunbalanya).
Drawing on documentary and photographic resources, combined with stories from the local Aboriginal community, the research tells the story of the difficulties in establishing the mission due to location, sickness, and in brokering relationships with the local community.
The panel of independent judges highly commended Maisie Austin, Matthew Stephen and the Cummings Family for Family, Belonging and Connection to Country. Darwin: NT Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation, 2020.
2021 marks the 16th year of the Chief Minister’s NT History Book Award. Sally K May, Laura Rademaker, Donna Nadjamerrek and Julie Narndal Gumurdul will now join a host of exceptional writers as a recipient of the Award.
The books shortlisted for the Award are:
- Maisie Austin and Matthew Stephen, The Cummings Family: Family, Belonging and Connection to Country. Darwin: NT Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation, 2020
- Sally May, Laura Rademaker, Donna Nadjamerrek, Julie Narndal Gumurduk, The Bible in Buffalo Country: Oenpelli Mission 1925-1931. Canberra: ANU Press, 2020
- Derek Pugh, Port Essington: The British in North Australia 1838-4, 2020
- Brian Reid, Power & Protection. The contest between the Government Residents and the medical Protectors of the Aborigines in South Australia’s Northern Territory, Darwin: Historical Society of NT, 2020
Administered by NT Library, the award recognises the most significant book about NT history published in the previous calendar year.
The ceremony was attended by authors, publishers, historians and researchers in Parliament House, NT Library.