Author: Adrian Day
First published: 2010
Format: Paperback A4 268 pages
Adrian Day was a Native Welfare Officer in the ‘50s and ‘60s. His story is of the people, black, white and brindle, good, bad, and indifferent.
This story is about a very young man with noble intent, a lack of maturity and no training whatsoever who is sent out by government to deal with what it sees as a disintegrating and dying race. It is about the ineptitude of government in dealing with a giant problem the average citizens, if they concern themselves at all, think is being attended to by experts. That within some grand plan there are dovetailed notions which will bring about a solution, if not now, then at some stage in the future. To confound government the race does not die nor does it quite disintegrate. Politics, prejudice, greed, apathy and indifference play their part. However there is enough conscience, courage and integrity, here and there, to provide in the awakening years just after World War II, the seed for dramatic change. There is tomfoolery, humour, pathos and plain tragedy. It ought to keep the reader entertained if not enthralled and it is as close to real local history as you can get. No masters need be served!
On reading Wadjelas, an anthropologist with long experience in the WA bush, said, “…it would be nice if all the current participants in the ‘Aboriginal Industry’ could read it, including historians, bureaucrats, academics, policy makers, in fact all the stakeholders – including the deniers of past and present brutalities, through to those who assert that Aboriginals are spiritual angels – minus wings.