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The Rabbits: Home
Year 8 English
Finding Resources in Accessit
Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies. Search the Bennies catalogue Accessit for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS.
The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan
Call Number: F MAR
Publication Date: 2010
Uses rabbits, a species introduced to Australia, to represent an allegory of the arrival of Europeans in Australia and the widespread environmental destruction caused by man throughout the continent.
Dark Emu by Bruce Pasco
Call Number: 338.1 PAS
Publication Date: 2018
History has portrayed Australia's First Peoples, the Aboriginals, as hunter-gatherers who lived on an empty, uncultivated land. History is wrong. In this seminal book, Bruce Pascoe uncovers evidence that long before the arrival of white men, Aboriginal people across the continent were building dams and wells; planting, irrigating, and harvesting seeds, and then preserving the surplus and storing it in houses, sheds, or secure vessels; and creating elaborate cemeteries and manipulating the landscape. All of these behaviors were inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag, which turns out have been a convenient lie that worked to justify dispossession. Using compelling evidence from the records and diaries of early Australian explorers and colonists, he reveals that Aboriginal systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia's past is required -- for the benefit of all Australians.
Young dark emu : a truer history by Bruce Pascoe
Call Number: 338 PAS
Publication Date: 2019
Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe argues for a reconsideration of the hunter gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived, a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent. Young Dark Emu, A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia's history pre-European colonisation.
A Failure to Understand by Margaret McPhee
Call Number: 994.02 MCP
Publication Date: 2014
The story of how people lived, from the convicts to the elite. This is a chronicle of how they worked, fed and clothed themselves and how they spent their time. A look at the monumental clash between European colonialism and the Aboriginal peoples, from the first tentative and difficult interactions of the early explorers to the arrival of the First Fleet.
The story of Australia's people : the rise and fall of ancient Australia by Geoffrey Blainey
Call Number: 994 BLA
Publication Date: 29015
The first stream of immigrants came ashore some 50,000 years ago when the islands of Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea were one. The second began to arrive from Europe at the end of the eighteenth century. Each had to come to terms with the land they found, and each had to make sense of the other. It was not – and is still not – an easy relationship, and the story of Australia's people is as complex as it is rich.
Grade Saver- Study Guide
The Rabbits is a 1999 picture book that depicts rabbits invading a country and displacing the indigenous marsupial population. An allegory for the British colonization of Australia, the story shows how the rabbits' and marsupials' initial neutrality descends into violent conflict and the erasure of the marsupials' culture. As the rabbit population increases, the rabbits radically alter and pollute the landscape while killing large numbers of marsupials
The first Australians and the British, the most powerful Empire in history, come face to face in Sydney on January 26, 1788. Their differences are immense but apprehension quickly turns to curiosity.
Rodney Kelly tells the story of Cooman resisting Captain Cook's landing at Botany Bay(video excerpt)
Introduced into Australia with the First Fleet rabbits have become a serious environmental invader. Their rapid spread shows what can happen when a new pest makes it into our country.
Daily Review's Ben Neutze interviews director John Sheedy and composer Kate Miller-Heidke about Barking Gecko Theatre Company and Opera Australia's The Rabbits.
We explore the lasting impact of the Endeavour’s arrival on Australia’s first people and learn more about Cook’s arrival as seen by the people who were already here.
Comparison of the 'Landing'
Shaun Tan grew up in Perth and works as an artist, writer and film-maker in Melbourne. He is best known for illustrated books that deal with social and historical subjects through dream-like imagery, widely translated throughout the world and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun is the recipient of an Academy Award for the short animated film The Lost Thing, the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden and the Kate Greenaway Medal in the UK.
Shaun Tan Essay- An essay written for a Conference in 2002, addressing questions of creativity, style, influence, research and process, mostly focusing on The Rabbits
An interesting, but quite academic, article that examines The Rabbits as an allegory for the European colonisation of Australia and its impact on the original inhabitants of the land.
Rabbit Free Australia
European wild rabbits are invasive, feral pests throughout much of Australia. They cause considerable damage to the natural environment and to primary production.
An Aboriginal Perspective- The Rabbits
The Rabbits, written by John Marsden and illustrated by Shaun Tan, is “a rich and haunting allegory for all ages, all cultures” (Marsden & Tan 1998). The 32-page picture book is a reference to Australia’s colonial past, exploring the history between British colonisers and Australia’s Indigenous population.