BOOKS

2021

Mission traces a life of politics, ideas and inspiring words.
Whether he is recalling his boyhood in Hope Vale, Queensland, making the case for Indigenous recognition, or evoking a reconciled, multicultural Australia, Noel Pearson confirms he is one of Australia’s most powerful and influential thinkers – and an extraordinary writer.

Mission selects the best of Pearson’s work to date. There are indelible portraits of political leaders seen close up – Keating, Rudd, Whitlam, Turnbull and more. There is Pearson’s brilliant exploration of a Voice to Parliament, which led eventually to the Uluru Statement from the Heart. And there are acute analyses – of passive welfare; of the fate of the Labor Party; of identity politics, good and bad; and of education and the role of a great teacher.

The volume also contains a remarkable new extended title essay, in which Pearson reflects on his life and work so far.

Mission is honest, provocative and utterly original.

Mission (online)_0.jpg

2017

By: Stan Grant, Rachel Perkins, Noel Pearson, Shireen Morris (Editor), Galarrwuy Yunupingu (Foreword by)

The nation has unfinished business. After more than two centuries, can a rightful place be found for Australia’s original peoples?

Soon we will all decide if and how Indigenous Australians will be recognised in the Constitution. In this essential book, several leading writers and thinkers provide a road map to recognition.

Starting with the Uluru Statement from the Heart, these eloquent essays show what constitutional recognition means, and what it could make possible: a political voice, a fairer relationship and a renewed appreciation of an ancient culture. With remarkable clarity and power, they traverse law, history and culture to map the path to change.

rightful.jpg

2016

Liberal and conservative approaches to recognising indigenous peoples

Damien Freeman, Shireen Morris
Foreword by Noel Pearson


The Forgotten People challenges the assumption that constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians is a project of the left in Australia.

It demonstrates that there may be a set of reforms that can achieve the change sought by indigenous leaders, while addressing the critical concerns of constitutional conservatives and classical liberals. More than that, this collection illustrates the genuine goodwill that many Australians, including Major General Michael Jeffery, Cardinal George Pell, Chris Kenny and Malcolm Mackerras, share for achieving indigenous recognition that is practically useful and symbolically powerful.

Forgottenpeople.jpeg

2015

How many Australians born in the 137 years since Truganini's death learnt her legend and scarcely thought deeper about the enormity of the loss she represented, and the history that led to it? Her spirit casts a long shadow over Australian history, but we have nearly all of us found a way to avert our eyes from its meaning.

In The War of the Worlds, Noel Pearson considers the most confronting issue of Australian history: the question of genocide, in early Tasmania and elsewhere. With eloquence and passion, he explores the 'emotional convulsions of identification and memory' that he feels on encountering these events. Re-reading Dickens and Darwin, Pearson acknowledges the 'fatal logic' of the colonial project, and seeks to draw out its meaning for Australians today.

warwords.jpg

2011

In Radical Hope, one of Australia’s most original and provocative thinkers turns his attention to the question of education. Noel Pearson begins with two fundamental questions: How to ensure the survival of a people, their culture and way of life? And can education transform the lives of the disadvantaged many, or will it at best raise up a fortunate few?

Pearson argues powerfully that underclass students, many of whom are Aboriginal, should receive a rigorous schooling that gives them the means to negotiate the wider world. He examines the long-term failure of educational policy in Australia, especially in the indigenous sector, and asks why it is always “Groundhog Day” when there are lessons to be learned from innovations now underway.

Pearson introduces new findings from research and practice, and takes on some of the most difficult and controversial issues. Throughout, he searches for the radical centre – the way forward that will raise up the many, preserve culture, and ensure no child is left behind.

radical.jpg

2009

Up from the Mission charts the life and thought of Noel Pearson, from his early days as a native title lawyer to his position today as one of Australia’s most influential figures.

This is writing of great passion and power, which introduces a fascinating man and a compelling writer. Many of the pieces included have been hard to find until now. Gathered together in a cohesive, broad-ranging book, they show a key Australian thinker coming into being.

Pearson evokes his early life in Hope Vale, Queensland. He includes sections of his epoch-making essay Our Right To Take Responsibility, which exposed the trap of passive welfare and proposed new ways forward. There are pieces on the apology; on Barack Obama and black leadership; on Australian party politics – Keating, Howard and Rudd; and on alcoholism, despair and what can be done to mend Aboriginal communities that have fallen apart.

UP.jpg

2000

Noel Pearson's seminal Our Right to Take Responsibility is a searing, clear-eyed analysis of the disastrous effects of long-term welfare dependency on Aboriginal society.

 

Both highly original and deeply contentious, it fundamentally changed the discourse as well as the direction of Indigenous affairs policy, and has joined the canon of Australian social and political writing.

right.jpg