Every Hill Got a Story

Native title manager Francine McCarthy with her late mother and author Jean McCarthy at the launch of Every Hill Got A Story.

From living off the land to negotiating their place in the digital age, Every Hill Got a Story is the first comprehensive history of Central Australia’s Aboriginal people, as told in their own words and their many languages. 

Heartbreaking, funny and poignant, 127 eminent men and women remember surviving first contact, massacres and forced removals and resisting more than a century of top-down government policies. Their testimonies, some accessible as audio sound bites, paint a devastatingly honest picture of life and work on the missions, cattle stations and the fringes of towns.

They speak eloquently of their struggle for self-determination and citizen rights such as health, housing, education and freedom from violence. The storytellers also celebrate winning back ownership of more than 410,000 square kilometres of their ancestral lands.

The beautifully presented oral history collecton has many previously unpublished photos and a foreword by Rachel Perkins.

The stoytellers launched their book at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station in September 2015. The launch marked the Central Land Council’s 40th anniversary. It is published by Hardie Grant and available from all good booksellers.

Study Guide

Australian Teachers of Media have developed a great study guide about our oral history collection  for secondary and tertiary teachers. It’s free!


Listen to Our Storytellers

Many storytellers have given us permission to publish highlights from the hundreds of original oral history recordings that went into making Every Hill Got A Story. You can also listen to short audio grabs from the book here.

Media Coverage