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  • We Come with this Place

Footnote Press

We Come with this Place

by Debra Dank.

  • £12.99
  • Available
  • Paperback published on 02/11/2023
  • Page count: 256 pages
  • ISBN: 9781804440858
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Quick take

We Come with This Place by Debra Dank is an extraordinary, deeply personal memoir that paints a vivid picture of the Gudanji Country in Australia. Dank weaves together rich, varied episodes that explore themes of family, love, and the harsh realities of racism and violence. Despite the pain and anger, the book shines with the warmth of strong familial bonds and a deep connection to the land. 


Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-FictionIndigenous Writers' PrizeUTS Glenda Adams Award for New WritingLonglisted for the 2023 Stella PrizePrime Minister's Summer Reading List 2022, Grattan InstituteWe Come with This Place is a remarkable book, as rich, varied and surprising as the vast landscape in which it is set. Debra Dank has created an extraordinary mosaic of vivid episodes that move about in time and place to tell an unforgettable story of country and people. There is great pain in these pages, and anger at injustice, but also great love, in marriage and in family, and for the land.

Dank faces head on the ingrained racism, born of brutal practice and harsh legislation, that lies always under the skin of Australia, the racism that calls a little Aboriginal girl names and beats and rapes and disenfranchises the generations before hers. She describes sudden terrible violence, between races and sometimes at home. But overwhelmingly this is a book about strong, beloved parents and grandparents, guiding and teaching their children and grandchildren what country means, about joyful gatherings and the pleasures of eating food provided by the place that nourishes them, both spiritually and physically.

We Come with This Place is deeply personal, a profound tribute to family and the Gudanji Country in Australia, to which Debra Dank belongs, but it is much more than that. Here is Australia as it has been for countless generations, land and people in effortless balance, and Australia as it became, but also Australia as it could and should be.

About the author

Debra Dank is a Gudanji/Wakaja woman, married to Rick, with three adult children and two grandchildren. An educator, she has worked in teaching and learning for many years – a gift given through the hard work of her parents. She continues to experience the privilege of living with country and with family. Debra completed her PhD in Narrative Theory and Semiotics at Deakin University in 2021.

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Footnote started in 2022 as a mission-oriented publisher committed to driving social and narrative change. We seek to centre marginalised stories and perspectives — other ways of thinking, being and organising that forefront diversity of...

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