Inspired by the experiences in her travels, Claire G. Coleman, a Noongar woman, set out to write something new while journeying across the continent. Her book Terra Nullius explores the invasion of so called Australia, but not the way we know it to be. Coleman’s clever use of sci-fi makes it difficult to discern what is and isn’t fiction, drawing explicit parallels with Australia’s colonial history of missions, exploitation and the concept of Terra Nullius, nobody’s land.
As the story develops, you are confronted with alternating perspectives from ‘Settler’ to ‘Native’. The didactic narrative reveals just how disturbing some of the justifications made by colonisers are, while also stressing the importance of resistance. It is through the honesty of this story that we discover remarkable truths of our own past, in-between the spaces of time. Terra Nullius teaches us the essence of humanity, power, and rebellion. Is it really a work of science fiction? You be the judge.
You can borrow Terra Nullius from the Libraries or listen to the audio book on OverDrive with your Library account .