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Throwing off the Cloak: Reclaiming self-reliance in Torres Strait
Elizabeth Osborne (author)
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For 160 years the Torres Strait Islanders have resisted governments’ continued dismissal of their ambitions. Osborne explores the debates centering on the Islanders' struggle to recover their rights to their land, sea, fish resources, and to make decisions for their own wellbeing.

Torres Strait Islander fishers have struggled against governmental control of their sea resources and those who take mercilessly from them. One Torres Strait Island leader articulated what identity means to him when asked, ‘What are you claiming, are you claiming the sea, the beach or the resources?’ He replied, ‘If an oil tanker ran aground it kills the bed, kills the fish and it kills me’.

Throwing off the Cloak is essential reading for anyone interested in Indigenous responses to colonisation.

Elizabeth Osborne’s association with Torres Strait began in 1967. For five years she and her husband lived on Thursday Island, and their relationship with Torres Strait continues today. Her book, Torres Strait Islander Women and the Pacific War, was published in 1997.

October 2009, pb, 230x152mm, 256pp, b/w illus

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© Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies