Gumbuli of Ngukurr by Murray Seiffert

The Australian Christian Book of the Year was announced on August 16  at the Australian Christian Literature Awards in Melbourne. Gumbuli of Ngukurr (Acorn Press) by Murray Seiffert emerged victorious from over forty entries submitted this year.

Acorn Press Ltd congratulates Murray Seiffert on his outstanding achievement in winning the 2012 Australian Christian Book of the Year and thanks SPCKA for its support and encouragement of Australian Christian writing. It is the second year in a row that an Acorn Press title has won the Christian Book of the Year top award.

What the judges had to say about Gumbuli:
‘Few indigenous Australians have been the subject of so rigorous a biography. This is a unique and timely contribution to the story of Aboriginal engagement with western culture and Christianity. Always informative it also, at times, makes for profoundly uncomfortable and provocative reading. This singular story of indigenous protagonism, self-determination and leadership in the face of overwhelming obstacles—hoostile opposition, blind ignorance and numbing indifference—maps a way forward for the peoples of this continent.’

More On Gumbuli of Ngukurr:
Whilst Gumbuli’s formal roles as minister and committee chairman were visible and highly significant, his informal influence was probably greater. We have seen something of his role as a peacemaker and campaigner against alcohol abuse, but his support and encouragement of Ngukurr people seems to have touched most families, if not all. Gumbuli himself said:
If you want to be a leader you must do your actions the right way, and through love. People are watching you and looking at the way you love them and support them. Your actions must come from deep in your heart.’

About the award:
The Australian Christian Book of the Year Award is given annually to an original book written by an Australian and published by an Australian publisher. The Award recognises and celebrates excellence in Australian Christian writing and carries a prize of $2,500.
Second prize was awarded to A Short History of Christianity (Viking) by Geoffrey Blainey.  Love, Tears and Autism: An Australian mother’s journey from heartbreak to hope (Ark House) by Cecily Paterson took third prize.