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Langford-Ginibi, Ruby

Ruby Langford Ginibi, born in 1934 on Box Ridge mission Coraki, is a member of the Bundjalung people. She grew up in Bonalbo and later Casino, New South Wales. Her autobiographies Don’t Take Your Love to Town (1988) and Real Deadly (1992) describe her life in the bush and later in Sydney raising a family of nine children. Recognised as a spokesperson, educator and author of Koori culture, she travels and lectures in Australia and abroad, and her essays are widely published. Her tribal name “Ginibi” (black swan) was given to her in 1990 by her aunt, Eileen Morgan, a tribal elder of Box Ridge mission. She returned to Bundjalung country to re-establish connections with her family, community and land she left as a child. My Bundjalung People is an account of her journey home, and was published by UQP in 1994.
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All My Mob

Picture of All My Mob
On Xmas morning I’ll get on the phone and call all my jahjams. I’ll tell my children that they are the only reason why I’m still alive. Their love, respect and support have lifted me higher than the highest mountains, and elevated me to achieve what I have with my writing and lecturing on our history in this country. I’ve wanted to open up white and multicultural Australia’s hearts and eyes to our social disadvantages, so they might help pull us outa the shit that has been created for us but not by us! Ruby Langford Ginibi – one of Australia’s great storytellers – is a survivor. Struggling to make ends meet in suburban Sydney, while also maintaining her family’s links to their land and rich cultural heritage, Ruby has some compelling tales to share. Her force of will is inspirational, and so is the connection she has with her mob. Ruby, the mother of nine children, grandmother to twenty-one, and great-grandmother to thirteen, writes about her supportive family with love, brave honesty and much humour. This brilliant collection of stories features a foreword by Dr Pam Johnston that places Ruby’s anecdotes in the context of a country which seems incapable of healing its past or of creating a better future for Indigenous people. Featuring the best stories from Ruby’s Real Deadly, plus many unpublished gems dating as far back as 1992, All My Mob’s portrayal of family life, ‘home’, and life as an Aborigine in today’s Australia is fascinating, often confronting and unforgettable. Bookseller + Publisher - 4 star review: 'All My Mob is the latest memoir by Ruby Langford Ginibi, author of Don’t Take My Love to Town, which has sold over 30,000 copies. It’s the story of a larger-than-life woman who has lived many lives and cared so deeply she had to share.'


Don't Take Your Love To Town

Picture of Don't Take Your Love To Town
Now for the first time I was going to live in and off the bush. Hard physical gut-busting work and stealing sheep and flocks of galahs overhead and clear hot days and keeping the fires stoked at night. We slept in the car. There was Gordon and me and the four children, and when it rained we locked ourselves in the car till it stopped. I helped him in the night stoking fires. Nearly twenty years ago, Ruby Langford Ginibi’s remarkable talent for storytelling grabbed the attention of both white and black Australians when she released Don’t Take Your Love to Town, which has gone on to become a bestseller and is now a seminal work of Indigenous memoir. Don’t Take Your Love to Town is a story of courage in the face of poverty and tragedy. Ruby recounts losing her mother when she was six, growing up in a mission in northern New South Wales and leaving home when she was fifteen. She lived in tin huts and tents in the bush and picked up work on the land while raising nine children virtually single-handedly. Later she struggled to make ends meet in the Koori areas of Sydney. Ruby is an amazing woman whose sense of humour has endured through all the hardships she has experienced. Don’t Take Your Love to Town is a brilliant memoir that will open your eyes and heart to an extraordinary woman’s story. ‘If you pick up this book, you pick up a life. It is as simple and as difficult as that. The life Langford [Ginibi] has lived in Australia is as close to the eyes and ears as print on the page makes it.’ - Billy Marshall-Stoneking, The Australian