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Pemulwuy : The Rainbow Warrior - Eric Willmot

Pemulwuy

The Rainbow Warrior

By: Eric Willmot

eBook | 9 November 2021

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'This is more than a novel, more than a story, it is the Big Bang: where the idea of Australia starts.' Stan Grant

This is the story of one of Australia's first true heroes, Pemulwuy. A proud and feared Aboriginal warrior, Pemulwuy leads an uncompromising twelve-year war against British colonial oppression and makes the supreme sacrifice in order to guide his people to safety.

Many histories of Australia start with the First Fleet and the hard times the colonists had with the climate and unruly convicts. Very few mention what really happened, or the blood that was spilled in the wars rarely spoken of. Pemulwuy, a Bidjigal man, unites the neighbouring peoples, runaway convicts, bushrangers and an escaped African known as Black Caesar, in a guerilla war that pushes the invading English to the brink.

This novel was conceived out of Pemulwuy's legend and the historical events between 1788 and 1802.

It is a story that all Australians should know.

About the Author

Dr Eric Willmot AM was for many years an authority on the life and times of Pemulwuy. He wrote the novel, Pemulwuy: The Rainbow Warrior, which was a landmark publication, a best seller, and has been included in secondary and tertiary education curricula across Australia.

A visionary and a dreamer, a scholar, educator inventor and engineer, Eric was born in Queensland and spent his childhood on an island (Crib Island) which no longer exists. He spent his youth as a drover, working in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. At the age of 20, Eric was seriously injured in a rodeo accident and spent a year in hospital. During that period he studied for his matriculation, won a scholarship, and attended the University of Newcastle, where he took his first degree in science.

He became increasingly interested in indigenous education, which he viewed as the most important and intriguing part of Australian education. In 1980, he found that there were less than 100 university graduates of indigenous descent in Australia. Eric is known in Australian Aboriginal society as the main architect of the national education program begun in 1979, which aimed to produce 1000 graduates by 1990. In 1990 that program had produced 1800 graduates and transformed the society significantly.

Eric was also an engineer and prolific inventor. During his lifetime, Eric held over 90 international patents. These covered a range of technology from a continuously variable ratio transmission system to a helical skewer. In 1981 Eric was named Australian Inventor of the Year, and twice won the Medaille d'Or Geneve of the Salon des Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland.

He died in 2019.

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