My Tidda, My Sister : Stories of Strength and Resilience from Australia's First Women - Marlee Silva

My Tidda, My Sister

Stories of Strength and Resilience from Australia's First Women

By: Marlee Silva, Rachael Sarra (Illustrator)

Hardcover | 2 September 2020 | Edition Number 1

At a Glance


RRP $32.99



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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and society has existed on this continent for millennia. It's a culture that manifests itself as the ultimate example of resilience, strength and beauty. It’s also a culture that has consistently been led by its women.

My Tidda, My Sister shares the experiences of many Indigenous women and girls, brought together by author and host of the Tiddas 4 Tiddas podcast, Marlee Silva. The voices of First Nations’ women that Marlee weaves through the book provide a rebuttal to the idea that 'you can’t be what you can’t see'. For non-Indigenous women, it demonstrates the diversity of what success can look like and offers an insight into the lives of their Indigenous sisters and peers.

Featuring colourful artwork by artist Rachael Sarra, this book is a celebration of the Indigenous female experience through truth-telling. Some stories are heartwarming, while others shine a light on the terrible realities for many Australian Indigenous women, both in the past and in the present. But what they all share is the ability to inspire and empower, creating a sisterhood for all Australian women.

Also features a foreword by Helpmann and AACTA award-winning actor Leah Purcell.

All permissions are in place for the stories of the many First Nations women shared in this edition.

About the Author

Marlee Silva is a proud Gamilaroi and Dunghutti woman born and raised in Dharrawal country, south of Sydney. Storytelling has always been a big part of Marlee's life. Her mum tells people she stopped reading bedtime stories to Marlee and her sister, Keely, by the time Marlee was five, because she'd started making them up herself. Even when Marlee ran into her kindergarten teacher a few years into university and told them she was studying creative writing, they laughed, 'No way, after all these years you're still telling stories?' It seems this was always meant to be her path.

Her passion for storytelling and pride in her Aboriginality came together in a new and dynamic way in 2018 when she launched an Instagram page dedicated to celebrating Indigenous women and girls, which she called 'Tiddas 4 Tiddas'. The positive stories of success and aspiration the page showcase quickly amassed an online following in the thousands and eventually led to the development of a podcast of the same name. The Tiddas 4 Tiddas community, and the stories of the staunch Aboriginal women in the family with whom she was raised, were the driving inspirations behind Marlee's debut book, My Tidda, My Sister.

About the Illustrator

Rachael Sarra is an artist and designer whose work is an extension of her being and experiences. As a contemporary Aboriginal artist from Goreng Goreng country, Rachael uses art as a powerful tool in storytelling, to educate and share Aboriginal culture and its evolution. Rachael's work often challenges and explores the themes of society's perception of what Aboriginal art and identity is. Her style is feminine, fun and engaging, yet is strongly drawn from her heritage and her role as an Aboriginal woman in a modern world. Rachael is fuelled by passion to continue exploring her Aboriginality through art and design, with each piece strengthening her identity. Her work has also featured in the Adam Brigg's book Our Home, Our Heartbeat (Hardie Grant Egmont) and in other products such as t-shirt and jewellery designs.
Industry Reviews

'My Tidda, My Sister is a beautifully written collection of stories from the lives of incredible and resilient Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Our past, our present and our FUTURE is all but a journey. Marlee is a proud young Aboriginal woman who has dedicated herself to telling the stories of these amazing women; an achievement to be commended for.

As Aboriginal peoples we originate from different nations and we all have different stories, but as a race of people we have one thing in common: as Indigenous peoples, we were all subjected to historical injustices.

There is no time more important than now for us all to honour those who have paved the way for us to thrive today. We should celebrate who we are! It is what we have in our hearts that matters most.

I applaud Marlee in honouring those women in a way that will continue to provide greater understanding of the complexities we all face as Indigenous peoples, from our connectedness to country to the different shades of our skin colour.

Well done Marlee, this is a fine tribute that we can all be proud of.' – Nova Peris OAM OLY MAICD

'Marlee Silva has shared a precious legacy with us – a culture of kinship that she inherited from her Gamilaroi great grandmother, Violet Pearl French. In this inspiring book of testimony from Aboriginal women, the role of our Tiddas, our sisters, is central. Tiddas give each other strength through love. The teaching of her great grandmother – to never give up – is a message about staying strong. Violet also taught ‘look to tomorrow.’ Do not become trapped in our past, become strong. I will give this book to every young woman who becomes fearful or despondent. This book is a beautiful expression of hope and overcoming our fears.' Professor Dr Marcia Langton AO, BA (Hons), ANU, PhD Macq. U, D. Litt. ANU, FASSA