The Intervention: An Anthology – Introduced by Co-editor Dr Rosie Scott

Anita Heiss and I decided to publish an anthology gathering together some of Australia’s best writers and thinkers to analyse and illuminate one of the most invasive, puzzling and unprecedented actions by a government in Australian history – the 2007 Intervention by the Howard Government.

nt-assimilationWe think that these writers and Indigenous leaders will bring anew perspective and urgency to an issue that has remained largely outside the public radar.

We believe that the basic premises of this intervention are deeply flawed, resulting in a serious breach of human rights.

It has never been fully debated nationally nor has there been significant consultation with the Indigenous communities most affected.

In June 2007 Prime Minister John Howard announced after the tabling of the ‘Little Children are Sacred’ report, ‘It is a disgrace that a section of the Australian population, those little children should be the subject of serious sexual abuse.’

A week or so later the Howard government staged a massive military and police Emergency Response costing $587 million, as outlined in the NT Emergency Response Act.

This Act prescribed a number of drastic measures which appeared strangely irrelevant to their stated aim of combating child abuse. Some of these measures contravened the Racial Discrimination Act and several revolved around land use. Nowhere in this very extensive legislation was there a significant mention of a child or children.

Since then there has been little or no change in the figures of child sexual offending in the Northern Territory.

This extraordinary, costly and largely unexplained action has had immense and long-reaching effects on the very cornerstones of Indigenous community and identity. There has now been substantial evidence gathered that much of this change has been negative. As the Intervention has morphed into Stronger Futures for another ten years in a disgraceful bipartisan agreement, many commentators have been asking what the justification for this continuation is, given the alarming figures of increasing suicide rates, child health problems and unemployment.

Editor Dr Rosie Scott

The fact is the real motives of this intervention have never been fully explained or justified and in spite of constant opposition by Indigenous communities, most significant Elders, peak human rights organisations as well as other Australians across a broad spectrum, the situation remains the same with only a few cosmetic touches.

We have published the voices of the Elders and other Northern Territory Indigenous community leaders in their many communiqués, media releases and statements issued throughout the period. As time goes on, the tone of these statements becomes angrier, more despairing and anguished as their very reasonable requests are simply ignored by the authorities and the Intervention is kept in place.

We believe this collection of essays, fiction, poetry, and memoir by leading Australian writers and statements by the Elders will give a new perspective, power and clarity to an issue that will continue to be highly controversial. And most importantly, we believe the role of the writer in this instance is to make Australian readers think about the plight of other largely voiceless Australians.

Many voices both Indigenous and non-Indigenous have been raised in eloquent protest against the Intervention ever since its first announcement by John Howard. Contrary to the carefully managed spin that there is deep disagreement within the Indigenous community, the fact is there is strong consensus about the Northern Territory Intervention amongst most experts, people on the ground and organisations.

Editor Anita Heiss

Editor Dr Anita Heiss

Most importantly, the majority of Elders and community leaders in the Northern Territory oppose it, some of whom have petitioned the United Nations. These include Rosalie Kunoth- Monks of Utopia, Djiniyini Gondarra of Galiwin’ku, Harry Nelson of Yuendumu, Djapirri Mununggirritj from Yirrikala, Yananymul Mununggurr from the Laynhapuy Homelands, Diane Stokes at Muckatty Station, Maurie Ryan and John Leemans at Kalkarindji, Reggie Wurridjal and Helen Williams at Maningrida, Joy White with the Larrakia mob in Darwin, Barbara and Walter Shaw in the Alice Springs Town Camps, Harry Nelson at Yuendumu, Dhanggal Gurruwiwi from Wallaby Beach and Matthew Dhulumburrk Gaykambayu from Ramingining, Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann of Nauiyu, Rachel Willika,Yalmay Yunupingu and George Gaymarani Pascoe of Milingimbi.

Local groups like Stop the Intervention Collective, Sydney and Intervention Rollback Action Group, Alice Springs which have worked so hard to publicise the facts, organisations representative of local Indigenous people like Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni, eminent Indigenous and non-Indigenous figures like Tom Calma, LowitjaO’Donoghue, the late Malcolm Fraser, Alastair Nicholson, Chris Graham and Olga Havnen as well as international organisations like the UN, Amnesty and church groups have all stated their strong opposition.

One dissenting voice had a particularly powerful effect on me personally. Rachel Willika, a Jaowyn Elder from the remote community of Manyallaluk spoke at a protest meeting we at Women for Wik convened in 2007 in Sydney when news of the Intervention had broken. This meeting was chaired by Dr Anita Heiss and addressed by eminent Indigenous women we’d invited from the Territory. These women included Olga Havnen, the then national Indigenous leader from the newly formed Combined Aboriginal Organisations, Eileen Cummings, and former advisor to the Chief Minister of NT on Aboriginal and Women’s Affairs,her daughter Raylene Rosas and Rachel Willika. An emotional and attentive audience packed the hall and spilled out into the foyer.

Rachel Willika had never been on a plane before, or to Sydney but she stood in front of us with quiet dignity and grace. Her speech was one of the most eloquent and powerful I’ve ever heard and moved many of the audience to tears. And, in my case anyway, to action. Her description of the fear in their community when the soldiers came has stayed with me permanently and so in part inspired this anthology.

In a statement to The Guardian at around the same time she said,

That John Howard has no heart. This intervention is hurting Aboriginal families.

It is no coincidence that eloquent speech has the power to spur people to political action.And as always, writers, film makers, painters and other artists have been major players in this history of analysis and dissent.

There are some towering examples of this; The Swan Book by Alexis Wright and the movies Charlie’s Country by David Gulpilil, Our Generation, a superb documentary film by Sinem Saban and Damien Curtis, and John Pilger’s Utopia. All of these have received serious recognition, mostly internationally. David Gulpilil received a standing ovation and the prestigious prize for best actor in Un Certain Regard competition in Cannes, also winning best lead actor for the Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts awards. Charlie’s Country won best film and best director at the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards. It’s safe to say this film will receive more awards.Stoptheinterventionrally21Jun2015

Our Generation was voted Best Campaign Film in the London International Documentary Festival, and Pilger’s Utopia was voted by the London Film Review as one of the five best films of the year. Alexis Wright’s critically acclaimed book, which I believe will become an Australian if not international classic, was shortlisted for all the major prizes including the Miles Franklin, the NSW Premiers, the Stella and the Voss. A review in the Sydney Morning Herald described The Swan Book as possibly ‘one of the most important Australian novels yet,’ another in the Sydney Review of Books ‘… and perhaps the first truly planetary novel.’

Other more direct examples of eloquent voices raised are those of people like Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Djiniyini Gondarra, Pat Dodson, Jeff McMullen, Tom Calma, Jon Altman, Judy Gurruwiwi, Barbara Shaw, Paddy Gibson, and many others. Their passionate speeches around Australia are a powerful example of inspiring oratory when all too often dumbed down, evasive, clichéd and impenetrable bureaucratic language is the norm for the authorities defending the Intervention. These people are true Australian heroes. They spend many hours travelling around Australia speaking and campaigning about what the Intervention actually means to the people who are suffering through it.

When we decided to compile this anthology we were delighted with the calibre of writers who agreed to contribute and felt very confident about putting our proposal forward to publishers. Six months later not one publisher took the project on, though most said it was a great project with an excellent list. But thanks to heart-warming support from the community –a dedicated group of women, who called themselves Women Inspired to Action, or WITA for short, raised funds for us through crowd-funding – with generous contributions from people all over Australia; a generous grant from the CAL Cultural fund; keen interest and support from Michele Harris and the members of ‘concerned Australians’, an extraordinarily generous offer by Graeme Jones and Tracey Kirby of Kirby Jones to do our typesetting and design free, the committed work of Tara Wynn of Curtis Brown and people like Pamela Hewitt and Danny Vendramini who have donated their time and expertise; we have been able to continue with our plans to publish this book in 2015.

So this is our hope for the anthology – that our distinguished list of Australian writers and Elders will join in with these other artists, supporters and community leaders to provide an in depth, eloquent and thoughtful dimension to this urgent debate, so long neglected by mainstream Australia.

We believe that the truthfulness, clarity and passion of their language will provide an inspiring antidote to the spin and disinformation which has been the official language of the Intervention up until now.

Above all we intend this anthology of eloquent Australian voices to take the debate to a wider audience and through this unique compilation prove that the abuse of human rights by the Northern Territory Intervention has no place in this country.

Grab your copy of The Intervention: An Anthology here

the-intervention-an-anthologyThe Intervention

An Anthology

The Intervention: an Anthology is an extraordinary document –deeply moving, impassioned, spiritual, angry and authoritative –it’s essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what lies behind this passionate opposition.

In this historic anthology, award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Dr Anita Heiss have gathered together the work of twenty of Australian’s finest writers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous together with powerful statements from Northern Territory Elders to bring a new dimension and urgency to an issue that has remained largely outside the public radar.

One of the most invasive, puzzling and unprecedented actions by a government in Australian history – the 2007 NT Intervention by the Howard Government- has resulted in an ongoing and flagrant breach of human rights. The introduction of this racist legislation has never been fully debated nationally nor has there ever been any significant consultation with the Indigenous communities most affected.

In compelling fiction, memoir, essays, poetry and communiqués, the dramatic story of the Intervention and the despair, anguish and anger of the First Nations people of the Territory comes alive.

The Intervention: an Anthology is an extraordinary document – deeply moving, impassioned, spiritual, angry and authoritative –it’s essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this passionate opposition.

Grab your copy of The Intervention: An Anthology here

Love reading about History and War? We have 2 prize packs up for grabs!

In the lead-up to Anzac Day we’re giving away two amazing prize packs, perfect for history buffs.


Like to sit back and listen, order from The Bolinda Anzac Day collection by April 30th and go in the draw to win a Bolinda Audio Book pack, worth $224! *Terms and Conditions apply.

1914-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-1914 : The Year the World Ended – Re Issue

Author: Paul Ham
Read by: Robert Meldrum

Few years can justly be said to have transformed the earth: 1914 did.

In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the bloodiest century in human history.

In the longer run, the events of 1914 set the world on the path toward the more…

Click here to check out The Bolinda Anzac Day Collection

the-anzacs-100-years-on-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-The Anzacs 100 Years On : In Story and Song

by Ted Egan

Order The Anzacs 100 Years On by April 30th and go in the draw to win the entire Dennis Jones Anzac collection, worth RRP $1000! *Terms and Conditions apply.

The Anzacs: 100 Years On: In Story and Song is a unique contribution to the commemoration of the centenary of the Anzacs. Ted Egan weaves personal stories and songs into a highly readable history of the Anzacs and the two nations, with amusing anecdotes and tales of great courage and ingenuity serving to leaven somewhat the brutal truth exposed, of a tragic and senseless war. The soldiers, nurses, politicians, wives, and the mothers who lost their sons, or welcomed them home severely damaged, all feature in this book and its songs.

Egan’s stories and poignant songs infuse the facts with the pain and loss (of life and innocence) and suffering that this war created both on the battlefields and in every more…

Grab a copy of The Anzacs 100 Years On here

We have more prizes to giveaway! You could win an awesome Mother’s Day gift. Check them out here.


Author Josephine Moon talks about her favourite chocolate recipe!

My favourite chocolate recipe: chocolate beetroot cake…

This recipe comes from The Saffron Girl.

10947253_422641974566135_8175922899149544241_oI talk about chocolate a lot. I think about it a lot. And, yes, I even eat it a lot. But what I’ve learned while doing research for The Chocolate Promise, is that you need to know how to eat it in order to get all the great health benefits without all the fat and sugar nastiness that comes with so much of the commercial confectionary on the market.

In this recipe, I take two of my favourite foods—chocolate and cake—add some awesome beetroot and get a delicious, healthy indulgence.

But before we get to the recipe, let’s take a quick look at where chocolate comes from.

This is a fruit pod from Theobroma Cacao. Inside the pod are flesh-covered beans, and inside the beans are the cacao nibs. And that’s from where we derive cacao, which is fermented, dried and roasted, and artisans then combine it in varying quantities with cocoa butter, some sort of sweetener, and perhaps vanilla or other flavours.
In its most natural state, cacao is ridiculously good for you, containing a plethora of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and a whopping great load of antioxidants—twice those found in red wine and three times that of green tea.

The problem is that most of what we know as ‘chocolate’ is really just cocoa-flavoured fat and sugar. Bummer! To get the absolute best out of chocolate, you need be consuming high-quality fare of at least 70% cacao.

Better yet, just do what I like to do and put raw cacao powder in whatever you can manage! Smoothies, goodie balls, cakes… go for it!

So, here is my chocolate beetroot cake. In the first picture, it is still in the making while in the food processor. Look how amazingly red it is! You know it’s good for you when it’s naturally red. Just like tomatoes and red wine, beetroot is full of fantastic cancer-fighting properties because of that red colour.

Red beetroot + chocolate = awesome!

And here it is out on a plate, with a sprinkle of coconut and a sprig of lavender (because lavender is my thing—seriously, I will put it in everything given half the chance).

My tips for this recipe:

Measure the beetroot accurately (otherwise it can turn out runny if you use too much) and watch it carefully as it’s baking. Anytime I’ve made it, it needs much longer in the oven than the recipe suggests. Every oven is different so use your best judgment.

Also, it goes really well with coconut milk yoghurt and grated dark chocolate on top for decoration.



•    3 cups of grated, cooked beetroots
•    4 eggs
•    1/2 cup olive oil
•    1/2 cup raw honey
•    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
•    1 teaspoon baking soda
•    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
•    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•    1/2 cup raw 100% cacao powder
•    1/3 cup coconut flour (for a slightly fluffier and dryer cake, use 1/2 cup coconut flour)*


1    Preheat oven to 170C (350F).
2    In a food processor or blender, beat the beetroots, eggs and olive oil.
3    Add the honey, vanilla extract, baking soda, sea salt and spices. Blend well.
4    Add the cacao powder and coconut flour and mix until well incorporated.
5    Pour into a greased cake pan of choice. I used a 9-inch diameter tart pan.
6    Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7    Cool completely before cutting and serving. Garnish as desired.

MoonThe Chocolate Promise

by Josephine Moon

For a limited time only, order a copy of The Chocolate Promise and get a free copy of My Little Chocolate Book. *Please note: offer available while stocks last and limit one free copy per order.

From Tasmania to Paris and beyond, an enchanting story of the proprietor of a specialist chocolate shop who must learn that some rules are meant to be broken – this real-life fairy godmother must learn to find her own magic. The new novel for readers who love Cathy Kelly and Monica McInerney from the bestselling author of The Tea Chest.

Christmas Livingstone has ten rules for happiness, the most important of which is ‘absolutely no romantic relationships’.

In The Chocolate Apothecary, her more…

Grab a copy of The Chocolate Promise here

Order Testament of Youth and receive a double pass to see it in Cinemas!


In celebration of the release of Testament of Youth, which has been described by the Evening Standard as “Stunningly good…desperately moving”,  we are giving you a free double pass to see the film when you order a copy of the book.

Synopsis: Testament of Youth is a powerful story of love, war and remembrance, based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman’s point of view. A searing journey from youthful hopes and dreams to the edge of despair and back again, it’s a film about young love, the futility of war and how to make sense of the darkest times.

Order Testament of Youth and receive a free double pass to see this breathtaking film on the big screen.

testament-of-youth-order-this-book-receive-a-free-double-pass-Testament of Youth

by Vera Brittain

A film tie-in edition of Vera Brittain’s classic autobiography, published to coincide with the major motion picture adaptation starring Dominic West, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan and Kit Harington.

In 1914 Vera Brittain was eighteen and, as war was declared, she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life – and the life of her whole generation – had changed in a way that was unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era. Testament of Youth, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain’s account of how she survived the period; how she lost the more…

Grab a copy of Testament of Youth here

Vera Brittain (1893-1970) grew up in the north of England. At the end of the war she moved to Oxford where she met Winifred Holtby, author of South Riding. poet-brittain.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: The 2015 Vogel’s Literary Award winner Murray Middleton in conversation with John Purcell

Melbourne author Murray Middleton was announced the winner of the coveted Vogel’s Literary Award on Monday night for his exquisite short story collection When There’s Nowhere Else To Run.

The award, which offers publication by Allen & Unwin and $20,000 prize money, has been the launching pad for some of Australia’s most successful writers including Tim Winton, Kate Grenville and Gillian Mears.

We were spoiled with a visit from Murray to chat about his win and sign copies of his breathtaking debut. Check out the video below.


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When There’s Nowhere Else to Run – Vogel Winner 2015

by Murray Middleton

For a limited time only, order When There’s Nowhere Else to Run and you will receive a signed copy. *Offer available while stocks last.

The winner of the 2015 Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award.

‘Masterfully controlled … lingers long in the memory.’ Rohan Wilson, author of The Roving Party and To Name Those Lost.

In one way or another, isn’t everyone on the run?

A survivor of Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires takes asylum with old friends in the Dandenong Ranges. An editor-in-chief drives his sister halfway around the country to an east-coast rehabilitation clinic. A single mother flies to Perth with her autistic son for one last holiday. A father at the end of his tether tries to survive the chaos of the Sydney Royal Easter Show. A group of young friends hire a luxury beach house in the final weeks of one of their lives. A postman hits a pedestrian and drives off into the night.

When There’s Nowhere Else to Run is a collection of stories about people who find their lives unravelling. They are teachers, lawyers, nurses, firemen, chefs, gamblers, war veterans, hard drinkers, adulterers, widows and romantics. Seeking more…

Grab a copy of When There’s Nowhere Else to Run here

middleton-200x0Murray Middleton was born with fractured hips in 1983. He spent the first three months of his life in plaster and has broken most bones since. He won The Age Short Story Award in 2010 with ‘The Fields of Early Sorrow’. When There’s Nowhere Else to Run is his first published collection of short stories. He currently lives in Melbourne and won’t publish a second collection of stories until the Saints win a second premiership.

The 2015 Stella Prize awarded to Emily Bitto!


Tuesday night saw Melbourne writer Emily Bitto take out the Stella Prize for her incredible novel The Strays.

The Stella Prize, which Booktopia was honoured to be a major sponsor of, is fast becoming one of the most prestigious awards on the literary calendar, celebrating Australian women’s writing.

The prize is named after one of Australia’s iconic female authors, Stella Maria Sarah ‘Miles’ Franklin, and was awarded for the first time in 2013. Both nonfiction and fiction books by Australian women are eligible for entry.


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the-straysThe Strays – The Stella Prize 2015 Winner

by Emily Bitto

In The Strays, Evan Trentham is the wild child of the Melbourne art world of the 1930s. He and his captivating wife, Helena, attempt to carve out their own small niche, to escape the stifling conservatism they see around them, by gathering together other like-minded artists. They create a utopian circle within their family home, offering these young artists a place to live and work, and the mixed benefits of being associated with the infamous Evan. At the periphery of this circle is Lily Struthers, the best friend of Evan and Helena’s daughter Eva.

Lily is infatuated by the world she bears witness to, and longs to be part of this enthralling makeshift family. As Lily observes years later, looking back on events that she still carries painfully within her, the story of this groundbreaking circle involved the same themes as Evan Trentham’s art: Faustian bargains and terrible recompense; spectacular fortunes and falls from grace. Yet it was not Evan, nor the other artists he gathered around him, but his own daughters, who paid the debt that was owing.

Grab a copy of The Strays here

emily bittoEmily Bitto lives in Melbourne. She has a Masters in literary studies and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Melbourne, where she is also a sessional teacher and supervisor in the creative writing program. Her writing has appeared in various publications, including Meanjin, Heat, Harvest, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Literary Review. The manuscript of her debut novel, The Strays, was shortlisted for the 2013 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

Are you a winner of 1 of 6 Fiona McCallum packs? Take a leap of faith!

In celebration of the release of Fiona McCallum’s book Leap of Faith, we gave customers the opportunity to win 1 of 6 Fiona McCallum packs, containing Paycheque and Nowhere Else. All you had to do to enter was order a copy of Leap of Faith by April 6th!

…and the winners are:

D.Willis, Booborowie, SA
L.Hicks, Neuarpurr, VIC
B.Taber, Riverstone. NSW
J.McDonald, Echunga, SA
M.Park, Geilston Bay, TAS
L.Pickles, Coleraine, VIC

leap-of-faithLeap of Faith

by Fiona McCallum

The highly anticipated new novel from beloved Australian writer Fiona McCallum.

Jessica Harrington is a promising horse rider who dreams of representing her country. But the recent death of her father her coach and mentor has left her doubting her ability to continue in the sport. When she fails at the Adelaide International Horse Trials her fears are confirmed and her world begins to fall apart.

Unable to bear seeing her well bred, highly trained horses languishing in the paddock, she makes the snap decision to sell. She’s broken her own heart, but can’t see any other way – now she will just have to focus on a life without them. Her husband Steve and best friend Tiffany, however, can see through her bravado.

Jessica is dismayed when Steve brings home a horse from a clearing sale, a horse so skinny and forlorn he just couldn’t leave it behind. Unwilling to be drawn back into the world of horses, she/s reluctant to get involved. But when a summer thunderstorm brings on a life or death emergency, she finds she underestimated the heart of one little horse. Can Jessica put her trust in Faith?


Grab a copy of Leap of Faith here

Congratulations to the winners!
Not a winner? Don’t worry, we have more prizes to giveaway! You could win an awesome Mother’s Day gift. Check them out here.



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