The Great Australian Non-Fiction Exploration

Australia is well-regarded for the quality of non-fiction titles produced in the country. There are many topics to explore and authors to examine if you are looking for a great read that reflects issues uniquely found in our country.


Flames of Extinction (John Pickrell)

Australia prides itself on its wildlife, and conservation of endangered species. Unfortunately due to many aspects of Australian society including; mining, large corporations, a love of fast fashion, and the rise in bush fire severity, our wildlife are struggling and dying off at unprecedented rates. Australia has a climate change problem that is deeply affecting it’s ecosystem and wildlife. Well-loved journalist John Pickrell examines and analyzes the effects of bushfires on the Australian environment, especially the 2019-2020 fires. He uses information gathered to discuss knew conservation methods being used to save many Australian animals from the brink of extinction.


Pride in Defence (Noah Risemen and Shirlee Robinson)

This collaborative non-fiction book examines what it means to be queer and in the defence force. The ADF has had members of the LGBTQIA+ community serve within its bounds from its conception. Unfortunately the ADF is not always the most accepting environment for many who identify as queer but their desire to serve their country helps many get through the hostile environments of service. This book proudly tells their stories while drawing also drawing information from never-before-seen documents and over 140 interviews.


The Momentous, Uneventful Day (Gideon Haigh)

No-one enjoys sitting in an office cubicle all day and this read explores the effect of the office on our lives. Haigh analyses how we developed a culture that heavily focuses on office work and the practical aspects of offices. Ergonomics, psychology, science, and instinct are examined in this insightful book, proudly written in Australia. Thanks to Haigh’s past as a journalist there are many citations and images to ensure that information provided is honest, real, and raw. A parallel is drawn to the 19th century factory and how the office is a re-adaption of the factory, merely based on new technologies and principles.  This is a great book for those interested in how our working climate may change over the next few decades.


Black, White and Exempt (Lucinda Aberdeen and Jennifer Jones)

Imagine that the only way to live a normal life – live in a city, have a job, and rent a home – is to completely disown your family, indeed your entire race. This is the story of Ella Simon, a woman from Purfleet, New South Wales. In 1957 she applied for, and was granted, an exemption. Essentially, she was now legally recognized as a white woman and not an aboriginal woman. This allowed her many freedoms such as opening a bank account and being able to travel. It also meant she could no longer associate with any aboriginal people, including her own mob and her family. This book opens a chapter of Australian not taught in schools and gives us an opportunity to reflect on the historical and current impact laws had on the advancement of non-white communities. 

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