Nov 24, 5:45 pm - 7:15 pm
Our First Nations Book Club is an introduction to a diverse range of texts by First Nations authors. Through an informal conversation we discuss each text, explore its themes, and celebrate First Nations stories and storytellers. Everyone is welcome to attend this safe space and free wine and cheese is provided.
The selected text for this special edition of our book club is Debesa by Cindy Solonec, and Cindy will be in attendance to facilitate the discussion of her work.
Please note you are strongly encouraged to have read the selected text prior to attending this event.
ABOUT THE BOOK
This extraordinary and heartfelt story chronicles the lives of the Rodriguez family of Debesa Station in the West Kimberley; their livelihood through difficult times, love of family, place and culture, and the challenges of day-to-day living on a small sheep station amid huge pastoral properties. Spanning four generations from the 1880s when the author’s maternal great-grandfather, Indian deckhand, Jimmy Casim, met and lived with Nigena woman, Lucy Muninga on Yeeda Station near Derby, Debesa centres on the unlikely partnership of Cindy’s parents: Frank Rodriguez, once a Benedictine novice monk from Spain, and Katie Fraser, who had been a novitiate in a very different sort of abbey – a convent for ‘black’ women at Beagle Bay Mission, 130 kilometres north of Broome. Together, Frank and Katie Rodriguez established Debesa, where Cindy and her three siblings grew up with the rich cultural heritage of their Spanish, Nigena and English ancestors. Debesa is a sweeping social history of one family’s struggles and triumphs set against the backdrop of the beauty of the West Kimberley.
This event is free but please RSVP below.
Please note that the Story Lounge does not have a bathroom but visitors can use the public toilets across Hay Street Mall at the Enex Building.
Story Lounge would not be possible without the Humich Group who donated the Hay Street Mall shopfront to activate the CBD for local writers and artists, as well as financial support from the City of Perth and Australia Council for the Arts.
Cindy SolonecExpand Bio Collapse Bio
Dr Cindy Solonec, a Nigena (Nyikina) woman from the West Kimberley, is married with two daughters and five grandchildren. She graduated with a PhD in History from UWA in 2016 and Debesa is a rewriting of her thesis that explored a social history in the West Kimberley based on the way her parents and extended family lived during the mid-1900s. As a university sessional staff member, Cindy lectures and tutors in addressing Aboriginal themes. She is a member of the History Council of Western Australia and she plays violin with Encore, a seniors’ all-strings orchestra.
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