Not Just Black and White: justice, acknowledgement, progress

Lesley Williams has an extraordinary knack of making you feel welcomed into her life, her presence, her story, into our shared history and making you feel like you belong – the opposite of her experience growing up under the control and monitoring of the QLD government under their ‘protection’ acts.

In this episode Lesley talks about life under the protection acts, which led her to her quest for justice and acknowledgement of the contribution of our indigenous people in building Queensland’s agricultural sector. Indigenous people were trained as domestic servants or farm hands, sent out to work on stations, and didn’t receive the wages they were entitled to.

Both her book, “Not Just Black and White”, which Lesley co-authored with her daughter, Tammy, and the conversation we have in this episode draw you in to her story as an indigenous woman, widow and single mother, as a woman who found self-belief along the way and now open-heartedly invites us all to “move forward together”, embracing our shared history.



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She’s had a career in the military, academia, media, literature and beer brewing. Called everything from a ‘six two transvestite Sheila’ by former football great Sam Newman on national TV, ‘the grunge queen’, by former QLD Premier Wayne Goss, a ‘witch’ by a Sunshine Coast pastor (Karen is convinced the consonant was misheard) and a ‘left-wing loopy academic with no testosterone’ by an irate radio listener in Tasmania, and a crusading, sycophantic, pedantic and myopic academic dwelling in an ivory tower, by a Courier Mail reader, Dr Karen Brooks is, to say the least, polemical. However, the hundreds of emails and letters she receives each week from readers of her books, columns and articles, as well as TV viewers and radio listeners attest to the fact that what she has to say about society, culture and young people today is striking a very loud chord.


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