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How They Fought : Indigenous Tactics and Weaponry of Australia's Frontier Wars - Ray Kerkhove

How They Fought

Indigenous Tactics and Weaponry of Australia's Frontier Wars

By: Ray Kerkhove

Paperback | 14 February 2023

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The history of Australia's Frontier Wars is becoming a hot topic for debate and research. It is now part of our national educational syllabus. However, there are very few books available that explain, in detail, the modes of warfare First Australians applied during the Frontier Wars.

How they Fought is written as an introductory guidebook. It is broken into chapters covering organisation, strategies, weaponry, and defences. The book considers both traditional practices and technological and tactical adaptations. To make this complex topic more accessible, How they Fought includes numerous tables, figures and diagrams that illustrate and summarize the contents.

About the Author

Dr Ray Kerkhove (PhD, Uni of Qld 2002; Member PHAQ) is an Adjunct Associate Professor with the School of Education at the University of Southern Queensland, an Associate with the Australian Centre for Genocide Studies, and a research historian affiliated with the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre and the School of Social Science's Archaeology Department at the University of Queensland. Ray began working with Australian First Nations communities in 1985 as a researcher for FAIRA.

In 2007, he established Interactive Community Planning Australia for the preservation of Indigenous heritage and cultural revitalisation. The organisation won the National Trust's Golden (Governor's) Award in 2011 and a finalist placing in the Telstra Reconciliation Queensland Awards(2009). Ray was co-recipient of the Helen Taylor Award for Local History (2010); twice a Visiting Fellow with Griffith University (2017, 2018), and twice a Historian-in-Residence (Noosa Council 2020-2021, Sunshine Coast Council 2021-2022).For over a decade, Ray has authored journal articles, chapters, and books on Indigenous history and especially Australia's Frontier Wars.

This has included The Battle of One Tree Hill (2019) and Mapping Frontier War on the Sunshine Coast-Noosa Region (2021). He has been active with many Indigenous communities, councils, charities, universities, and museums in developing events, exhibitions, signage, education kits, public artworks, and websites that will better commemorate the Frontier Wars. His current book expands on his recent (2016-2017) Harry Gentle Resource Centre (Griffith University) digital project, Mapping Frontier Conflict in South-east Queensland.
Industry Reviews
This is an outstanding book: the fruit of years of prodigious research. It will profoundly influence the way we think about Australia's Frontier Wars and indeed about the whole history of relations between the First Nations and the European settlers ... Destined to be an instant classic. - Professor Henry Reynolds, author of Other Side of the Frontier, Forgotten War and Why Weren't We Told?

This is one of the first times that a historian has tried to look at how Aboriginal people resisted the white settler's invasion - Kerkhove has been assiduous in citing wide-ranging examples a thorough work that puts paid to the idea that Aboriginal Australians merely wilted in the face of modern firearms and logistics. - Dr Timothy Bottoms, author of Conspiracy of Silence.

How They Fought is at the forefront of a new military history of resistance warfare and will be an important resource for Australians to truly comprehend the most significant conflict of their history, the Australian Wars. - Dr Stephen Gapps, author of The Sydney Wars and Gudyarra: The First Wiradyuri War.

An important and much-needed study - the first of its kind and hopefully not the last. - Dr Nicholas Clements, author of The Black War and Tongerlongeter.

How They Fought reflects the high quality of research and interpretation that is present in Ray Kerkhove's established works. There is no doubt that its unique depth will result in it becoming a seminal work. - Patrick Collins, author of Goodbye Bussamarai.

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