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y separately published work icon Tracker single work   biography  
Alternative title: Tracker : Stories of Tracker Tilmouth
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Tracker
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The legendary Indigenous activist ‘Tracker’ Tilmouth died in Darwin in 2015. Taken from his family as a child and brought up on a mission on Croker Island, he returned home to transform the world of Aboriginal politics. He worked tirelessly for Aboriginal self-determination, creating opportunities for land use and economic development in his many roles, including Director of the Central Land Council. He was a visionary and a projector of ideas, renowned for his irreverent humour and his colourful anecdotes. The memoir was composed by Wright from interviews with Tracker before he died, as well as with his family, friends and colleagues, weaving his and their stories together into a book that is as much a tribute to the role played by storytelling in contemporary Aboriginal life as it is to the legacy of a remarkable man.'  (Publication summary)




  • A memoir in story form.

  • Dedication: For the Tilmouth family.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Artarmon, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Giramondo Publishing , 2017 .
      image of person or book cover 5494203547139474112.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 650p.
      • Published 1 November 2017

      ISBN: 9781925336337

Other Formats

  • Large print.
  • Dyslexic edition.

Works about this Work

[Review Essay] A Wake for Tracker, Larrikin Aboriginal Leader : A Personal Response to Alexis Wright’s Tracker: Stories of Tracker Tilmouth Paul Burke , 2019 single work single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Biography and History , October no. 2 2019; (p. 117-134)
The Ancient Library and a Self-Governing Literature Alexis Wright , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , June 2019;

'My literary journey has been such an amazing opportunity to work and play with the possibilities of the imagination, but it has also been a long hard battle of working through insecurities about the plan to write a proper good book.  Even the idea of story is a cultural understanding that story involves all times and realities, the ancient and new, the story within story within story – all interconnected, all unresolved – and this perspective is a truly wonderful way of seeing and embracing the world of the imagination.' (Introduction)

Indigenous Stories and Storytellers May Be Lost in the Digital Age Daniel Browning , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sydney PEN Magazine , May 2019; (p. 13)
'How do you maintain the storytelling traditions and the spoken literatures of an oral culture in the digital era, asks Daniel Browning, journalist and radio broadcaster who produces and presents Awaye!, the Indigenous art and culture program on ABC Radio National.' 

 (Article summary)

“We Were Radicals in Those Days" 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Land Rights News , April vol. 8 no. 1 2018; (p. 25)

'Francis Kelly and Tracker Tilmouth were childhood friends, tearing around the East Side of Alice Springs on donkeys and nicked bikes. Asked by Tracker’s family to launch Alexis Wright’s award winning biography of the late Central Land Council director the current chair accepted in a heartbeat.'

(Source : Abstract)

The Power and Purpose of Literature : Boisbouvier Oration 2018 Alexis Wright , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin , Summer vol. 77 no. 4 2018; (p. 209-218)

'I thought I would begin this talk about the power and purpose of literature by talking about my 1998 book Take Power. The title came from a Gurindji Elder while telling the story of the ten-year battle his people fought against Vestey’s, a British pastoral company that owned the Wave Hill pastoral property in the north-west of the Northern Territory, when in 1966, 200 Gurindji, the traditional landowners, walked off the cattle station where they worked on their stolen lands because of the harsh treatment they were receiving from the management of the pastoral property. Vincent Lingiari, who led his people off Wave Hill, said: ‘We can’t go back to that Vestey’s. Vestey’s been treating me like a walagu (dog). Make mefella worry.’ The Gurindji kept telling their story straight, and eventually they achieved land rights over part of their traditional lands.' (Introduction)

Raucous Choir of One Man’s Selves Geordie Williamson , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 3 February 2018; (p. 20)

— Review of Tracker Alexis Wright , 2017 single work biography

'Leigh Bruce “Tracker” Tilmouth was one of those figures so larger-than-life that only the vast spaces of the Top End could contain him. His early story was drearily, tragically, common for its era. It should have done him in — left him broken in spirit or else killed him, just as it killed many of his generation — but he exceeded his circumstances and used them as rocket fuel, powering a can-do activism that was equal parts bush politics and serial entrepreneurship.' (Introduction)

Wright Launches New Book Jack Latimore , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 13 December no. 666 2017; (p. 13)

'Award-winning writer Alexis Wright launched her latest book in Melbourne recently at an event where it was also announced that she would be the new Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature.'

Tracker by Alexis Wright Review – a Weighty Portrait of a Complex Man Alex Gerrans , 2017 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 29 November 2017;

'Biography of Indigenous activist Tracker Tilmouth from the Miles Franklin award-winning novelist is a testament to the power of collective storytelling.'

'He Was the Story' : A Polyphonic Portrait of a Mercurial Activist Michael Winkler , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January–February no. 398 2018; (p. 8-9)

'In Alexis Wright’s novel Carpentaria (2006), Girlie claims, ‘If you ever want to find out about anything in your vicinity, you have to talk to the mad people.’ There are a lot of mad people in Wright’s biography of Aboriginal activist, thinker, and provocateur ‘Tracker’ Tilmouth. He is probably the maddest of all, in the Kerouacian sense of ‘mad to live, mad to talk’, but, according to his mate Doug Turner, his ‘madness gave him sanity’'. (Introduction)

Big-Picture Man Frank Bongiorno , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly , February no. 141 2018; (p. 63-65)

'A literary criticism of the book "Tracker Tilmouth: The Vision Splendid" by Alexis Wright is presented. It explores Tilmouth's political view on Australian Prime Minister John Howard's government as well as concerns and issues linking the Labor Party. It also provides an overview of Tilmouth, who belonged to the generation of Aboriginal leaders in the country.' (Publication abstract)

Alexis Wright on Tracker 2018 single work interview
— Appears in: The Stella Interviews 2018;

'Alexis Wright is shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize for Tracker, the collective memoir of Aboriginal leader and visionary Tracker Tilmouth. In this special Stella interview, Alexis shares insights into how the book came about, the importance of Tracker Tilmouth’s legacy and what she’s working on next.' (Introduction)


Last amended 13 Dec 2019 06:54:42