There are not too many histories of Aboriginal reserves that have something good to say of them. But the Burrage children, Winifred, Alan and Elsie, recall the world of their childhood as a happy one. They recount how their Anglo-Australian parents toiled on reserves with genuine caring and an unsentimental sense of duty.
A Life Together, a Life Apart is a collaborative autobiography and an oral narrative as well as a history. The vivid recollections of Winifred Burrage, Alan Burrage and Elsie Stokie form its centrepiece.
In an introductory essay Bain Attwood sketches the background to the reserves, and discusses the different histories we have of relations between Europeans and Aborigines in Australia. In the final section he scrutinises the form of oral history and contemplates the nature of historical knowledge. The result is a passionate representation of the virtues of History.
Part 1 Other histories. Part 2 Beginnings - Sevington; Cummeragunja; Moonahcullah; the later years. Part 3 Oral narratives, autobiography and history.