Shortlist year: 
2008
Shortlist category: 
Non-fiction
Published by: 
Wakefield Press

About the book

Book cover- Ochre and Rust: Artefacts and Encounters on Australian Front by Philip Jones
Winner

In the Flinders Ranges, a Kuyani man presents a cake of ochre to a European doctor, in earnest proof that the threatened ochre mine is ‘as important as the bible is to Christians’. As netted bags are exchanged for cloth south of Port Darwin, a surveyor’s linguistic hobby draws him close to Djerimanga people, near enough to become the unwitting candidate for a blood debt.

Ochre and Rust takes nine Aboriginal and colonial artefacts from their museum shelves, and positions them at the centre of these gripping, poignant tales set in the heart of Australia's frontier zone.