16 Best Audiobooks by Aboriginal Authors

16 Best Audiobooks by First Nations Authors

From ground-breaking novels to eye-opening non-fiction, there’s no shortage of brilliant titles from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers of Australia. These stories help us connect, remember, and grow. We’ve compiled some of the most exciting and celebrated contemporary voices for your listening. These listens deconstruct the devastating impact of colonisation and take a hard look at our dark past. But they also celebrate language, culture, and connection to the country. Plus, they’re narrated by beloved performers, or the writers themselves, making for a rich and rewarding experience. So, listen up — and learn.
Product list
    • By: Claire G. Coleman
    • Narrated by: Mark Coles Smith, Tamala Shelton
    • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
    • Release date: 19-03-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 261 ratings
    • For anyone seeking a surprising and utterly original listen, Terra Nullius tops the list. Claire G. Coleman’s debut novel was longlisted for the Stella Prize in 2018. This work of speculative fiction is set in Australia — but not as we know it. Coleman paints a picture of two groups, referred to as the Natives and the Settlers, as well as Jacky, a young man who’s running away as far as he can. Coleman, a writer from Western Australia who identifies with the South Coast Noongar people, wrote while travelling around the country in her caravan — resulting in a novel instilled with a strong sense of place. Mark Coles Smith and Tamala Shelton’s energetic performances bring Coleman’s vivid imagery to life. The result is an important take on colonial oppression that questions what we’ve learned from the past.

    Non-member price: $27.99 or 1 Credit

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    • Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?
    • By: Bruce Pascoe
    • Narrated by: Bruce Pascoe
    • Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
    • Release date: 10-01-2017
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 2,642 ratings
    • A must-listen for every Australian, Bruce Pascoe’s revolutionary work redefines how we talk about pre-invasion Aboriginal agricultural systems – in a way that’s accessible and utterly captivating. Winner of two NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, Dark Emu challenges assumptions that pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians were ‘hunter-gatherers’. Pascoe draws on evidence from the diaries of early explorers — from Charles Sturt to Thomas Mitchell — to understand food production systems and land management. The result is nothing short of astounding. Pascoe, a writer of Tasmanian, Bunurong and Yuin descent, narrates the title with clarity and expertise. Put on your headphones and get ready to change how you think about Australia’s past.

    Non-member price: $29.99 or 1 Credit

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    • By: Nakkiah Lui, Miranda Tapsell
    • Narrated by: Nakkiah Lui, Miranda Tapsell
    • Length: 3 hrs and 50 mins
    • Release date: 15-06-2020
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 416 ratings
    • ‘Is it really possible that this fusty old relic of colonialism, the debutante ball, could be the answer to girl power in the 21st century?’ That question kicks off playwright Nakkiah Lui and actress Miranda Tapsell’s brilliant Audible Original Podcast. In Debutante: Race, Resistance and Girl Power, the pair unpack the controversial tradition of the debutante ball — in Australia and overseas. The international journey begins with an etiquette lesson in London. What follows is a deep dive into the colonial and patriarchal history of the deb, and a look at how First Nations women are reclaiming the tradition. Lui and Tapsell, who previously teamed up for the Pretty For An Aboriginal podcast and Get Krack!n, have effortless chemistry. They’re generous, witty and incisive hosts. Whether you’re on the train, in the car, or at home, this podcast is definitely worth a listen.

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    • By: Tara June Winch
    • Narrated by: Tamala Shelton
    • Length: 2 hrs and 34 mins
    • Release date: 02-10-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 317 ratings
    • Swallow the Air announced Tara June Winch as one of Australia’s most talented and incisive young writers. Her stunning debut swept a long list of awards, including the David Unaipon Award and Victorian Premier's Literary Award. The story begins with heartbreak: May’s mother suddenly dies beneath the jacaranda tree in their backyard. May and her brother Billy move in with Aunty. Plagued by loss, the story follows May as she embarks on a journey to connect with her father and Aboriginal identity. Her search spans from the east coast of Australian to the far north as she attempts to find her place in the world. Tamala Shelton's smooth and lyrical narration of the title will take you along for the journey, beautifully capturing Winch’s imagery.

    Non-member price: $23.99 or 1 Credit

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    • By: Melissa Lucashenko
    • Narrated by: Tamala Shelton
    • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
    • Release date: 01-11-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 564 ratings
    • Too Much Lip won the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2019 – deservedly so. Melissa Lucashenko’s fearless novel is packed with rich characters and memorable descriptions. It opens with the smart-mouthed Kerry Salter roaring into town on a stolen Harley. Salter returned to say goodbye to her dying grandfather ‘before he fell off that perch’. Although she aims to be out within 24 hours, Bundjalung country has a hold on her. She’s soon caught up by old family ties and a handsome dugai fella. Actress Tamala Shelton’s narration is perfectly paced and evokes Salter’s world with humour and pathos. And while Lucashenko once said it was the hardest book she’s ever written, it’s a pleasure to listen to.

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    • By: Anita Heiss
    • Narrated by: Gregory J Fryer, Hunter Page-Lochard, Lisa Maza, Shari Sebbens, Tamala Shelton, Tony Briggs
    • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
    • Release date: 20-09-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 277 ratings
    • Hear from actors, activists, journalists and an opera singer in this powerful anthology. Compiled by Dr Anita Heiss, a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW, this title addresses the question: what is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This collection of 52 essays celebrates a variety of experiences and perspectives — from well-established writers to emerging talents. There are plenty of famous and familiar stars too, from Top End Wedding star Miranda Tapsell to AFL legend Adam Goodes. These stories are told by an impressive list of narrators, including Shari Sebbens, Gregory J Fryer and Lisa Maza, who bring their own unique pacing and perspective. As Heiss explains in the introduction, these essays ‘speak to the heart — sometimes calling for empathy, oftentimes challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect.’

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    • The Story of My Life and My Music
    • By: Archie Roach
    • Narrated by: Archie Roach
    • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
    • Release date: 24-03-2020
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 674 ratings
    • Much like his music, Archie Roach’s memoir is raw, honest and profoundly moving. Join the singer-songwriter at the kitchen table of his home in Gunditjmara country as he narrates his life story. Taken from his family at two years old, Roach was raised in foster care. As a teenager, he received a letter from an older sister — and it changed the course of his life forever. Tell Me Why charts Roach’s painful search for identity and community. His journey is filled with heartache, addiction and loss. But it’s also a story of love, resilience, and music (of course), with Roach inspiring fans worldwide. It’s no wonder he was named Victorian Australian of the Year in 2020. There’s so much to gain listening to his strong and generous narration, as well as the emotional songs sprinkled throughout. Keep the tissues handy for this one.

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    • By: Tara June Winch
    • Narrated by: Tony Briggs
    • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
    • Release date: 03-09-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 505 ratings
    • After listening to Swallow the Air, follow it up with Tara June Winch’s 2019 masterpiece, The Yield. This unforgettable story took Winch more than a decade to write, from concept to completion. Albert ‘Poppy’ Gondiwindi lives on the Murrumby River at Prosperous House, on Massacre Plains. Nearing death and determined to preserve the language and culture of his people, he begins writing. His granddaughter, August Gondiwindi, is living on the other side of the world when she finds out about his death. Arriving back home, she’s burdened by grief and eager to make amends. Like Winch’s Swallow the Air, The Yield is poignant and beautifully written. Don’t miss the opportunity to listen to this 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award winner.

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    • By: Tony Birch
    • Narrated by: Shareena Clanton
    • Length: 7 hrs and 38 mins
    • Release date: 04-06-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 570 ratings
    • What are the lengths you’d go to save the ones you love? Tony Birch unpacks that difficult question in his touching novel The White Girl. Set in 1960s Australia, listeners are introduced to Odette Brown, who lives on the fringes of the fictional town of Deane. Caring for her granddaughter Sissy after her daughter disappeared, Odette has so far avoided the welfare authorities who are forcibly taking fair-skinned Aboriginal children from their families. But when a new police officer arrives, Odette and Sissy’s life together is put to the test. With sensitive narration from Wentworth’s Shareena Clanton, The White Girl shines a spotlight on the destructive government policy of removing Indigenous children.

    Non-member price: $21.99 or 1 Credit

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    • Born-Again Blakfella
    • By: Jack Charles
    • Narrated by: Jack Charles
    • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
    • Release date: 03-09-2019
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 413 ratings
    • Jack Charles is a one-of-a-kind storyteller. Within seconds, you’ll be hooked by the beloved actor’s memoir, as well as his spirited narration. Jack Charles: Born-Again Blakfella is full of wild ups and downs, as told by Uncle Jack himself. A survivor of the Stolen Generations, he was taken from his mother at four months old ('snatched like a little lamb') and placed into institutional care. Uncle Jack recounts his isolation and struggles with belonging — experiences many Indigenous writers have wrestled with. And while his stories are often heartbreaking, they’re infused with wit and charm. He transports us to his favourite Melbourne haunts, spinning tales of cat burglary, drug addiction, sleeping rough and time in prison, as well as his celebrated career on the stage and screen. Uncle Jack is a wonderfully gifted performer, and it's a treat listening to him tell his story. His voice is warm, melodious and full of character. You’ll be hanging on his every word.

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    • By: Kim Scott
    • Narrated by: Kim Scott
    • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
    • Release date: 15-02-2018
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 57 ratings
    • Taboo is both a story of survival and renewal, of hope and despair. It’s the fifth novel by Kim Scott, who is proud to be one among those who call themselves Noongar. The plot takes place in the rural southwest of Western Australia. For the first time in years, a group of Noongar people revisit the site of a horrific 19th century massacre — a place considered to be taboo. They’re invited by Dan Horton, who owns the farm where the massacre took place, and is aiming to fulfil his wife’s dying wishes. Two-time Miles Franklin Award-winner Scott reads the story himself with steady pacing. It’s clear why Taboo is regarded by many as a ‘West Australian classic’.

    Non-member price: $34.99 or 1 Credit

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    • By: Alexis Wright
    • Narrated by: Isaac Drandich
    • Length: 19 hrs and 15 mins
    • Release date: 03-12-2008
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 82 ratings
    • Alexis Wright, a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria, was championed as one of the country’s finest writers for her second novel, Carpentaria. As the Sydney Morning Herald summed up her epic work: ‘Like the Gulf Country itself, this is big enough to lose yourself in.’ The Miles Franklin Literary Award-winner is a portrait of life in the fictional coastal town of Desperance, on the Gulf of Carpentaria. There, listeners meet a remarkable cast of characters, including the sea-faring Normal Phantom; queen of the rubbish-dump Angel Day; and activist and prodigal son, Will Phantom. This weighty story is best listened to — in part courtesy of Isaac Drandich’s captivating performance.

    Non-member price: $38.99 or 1 Credit

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    • By: Ambelin Kwaymullina, Ezekiel Kwaymullina
    • Narrated by: Miranda Tapsell
    • Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
    • Release date: 01-02-2019
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 69 ratings
    • Miranda Tapsell narrates the gripping joint Audible book from siblings Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. Catching Teller Crow is equal parts ghost story, crime tale and thriller — and totally addictive. Beth Teller, a ghost, died in a tragic accident, and her detective father is the only one who can see her. The story follows their attempt to untangle the mystery of Isobel Catching and figure out her link to a fire that killed a man. The language – half prose, half verse – is deftly performed by Tapsell and is a listening joy for young adults and older adults alike. Ambelin and Ezekiel, who come from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia, believe in the importance of storytelling to shape a more just world. That message is loud and clear in this 2019 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Young Adult winner.

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    • Ready When You Are
    • By: Gary Lonesborough
    • Narrated by: Meyne Wyatt
    • Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
    • Release date: 16-02-2021
    • Language: English
    • 5 out of 5 stars 218 ratings
    • A funny and heart-warming coming-of-age story, set in a rural Australian community, about 17-year-old Jackson finding the courage to explore who he is, even if it scares him. It's a hot summer, and life's going all right for Jackson and his family on the Mish. Jackson's Aunty and annoying little cousins visit from the city - but this time a mysterious boy with a troubled past comes with them.... As their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family and community. And he must face his darkest secret - a secret he thought he'd locked away for good.

    Non-member price: $19.95 or 1 Credit

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    • By: Doris Pilkington
    • Narrated by: Rachael Maza
    • Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
    • Release date: 14-11-2012
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 118 ratings
    • Hear the extraordinary true story that inspired the award-winning film Rabbit-Proof Fence. Doris Pilkington traces the journey of her mother, Molly, who was forcibly removed from her family as part of the Stolen Generations in the 1930s. Molly led her younger sister and cousin on a daring escape from Western Australia’s brutal Moore River Native Settlement. With no shoes and only the rabbit-proof fence to follow, the girls braved an arduous 1600-kilometre trek home to Jigalong, on the edge of the Little Sandy Desert. Actress and director Rachael Maza narrates Pilkington’s remarkable account with strength and clarity. Even if you’ve seen the film, Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence offers important historical and political context, as well as a unique personal perspective. Add this title to your collection to ignite your imagination and take a journey unlike any other.

    Non-member price: $17.00 or 1 Credit

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    • By: Alexis Wright
    • Narrated by: Jacqui Katona
    • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
    • Release date: 28-10-2016
    • Language: English
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 25 ratings
    • The Swan Book is a breathtaking story from talented writer Alexis Wright. Set in the future, the Intervention unfolds in the north, and climate change has taken a toll on the environment. Listeners follow Oblivia, a mute teenage girl who’s found in the hollow of a tree by Aunty Bella Donna of the Champions. Drawing inspiration from myth, legend and fairy tales, Wright’s tale is highly imaginative and utterly captivating. Narrator Jacqui Katona’s voice is imbued with curiosity and wisdom, making her the ultimate guide through this unique listen. This story will stick with you for a long time.

    Non-member price: $43.99 or 1 Credit

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Audiobook lists are hand-picked by Audible editors; inclusion is based on a number of factors including
listener ratings, narrator performances, presence on Audible best seller lists and cultural relevance.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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