Roy Hay, the author of Aboriginal People and Australian Football in the Nineteenth Century: They Did Not Come from Nowhere, has been on the New Books Network podcast to discuss the recent publication. The podcast serves as an in-depth conversation about the content of the book, and how Australian football came to be.
Aboriginal People and Australian Football in the Nineteenth Century: They Did Not Come from Nowhere will revolutionise the history of Indigenous involvement in Australian football in the second half of the nineteenth century. It collects new evidence to show how Aboriginal people saw the cricket and football played by those who had taken their land and resources and forced their way into them in the missions and stations around the peripheries of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. They learned the game and brought their own skills to it, eventually winning local leagues and earning the respect of their contemporaries. They were prevented from reaching higher levels by the gatekeepers of the domestic game until late in the twentieth century. Their successors did not come from nowhere.
Roy Hay was educated at Glasgow University and Balliol College, Oxford. He came to Deakin University, Australia, in 1977, after teaching at the universities of East Anglia, Glasgow and the Open University, UK, and is an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University. His early publications were in economic, social and oral history, and, while contributing to 25 different courses at Deakin University in 25 years, he became a part-time journalist with the Geelong Advertiser, covering association football (soccer) from the Under-9s to the National League, the Socceroos and the Matildas. The unrivalled access this gave him to the local game led to a string of academic articles and a series of books, including the standard history of the game, A History of Football in Australia, with Bill Murray, two edited collections and several shorter works. He has always been interested in the contribution of Australia’s Indigenous people to the football codes.
The podcast, hosted by Keith Rathbone, is available here.
To find out more information about the book, and to order, please click here.