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The Book

We can learn much from the Aboriginal people and Aboriginal Elder, Banjo Clarke, whom Camilla Chance writes about in her award-winning book, "Wisdom Man."

Like the white culture in the United States that had enslaved, colonized and controlled the black man, so we have the story of Banjo Clarke, Aboriginal Elder, whose Aboriginal culture in Australia was in much danger of destruction by the white man. What we find in each of their histories is that it takes a few generations to bring some sense into the powers that be to accept all colors and cultures and learn from them, not destroy them.

Banjo is a symbol of kindness and compassion and how not to give up on humanity. In this book he teaches us all how to be kind to one another and accept people for who they are, not what color they are.

Camilla Chance became close friends with Banjo Clarke approximately thirty years ago. They became such good friends that he and his family gave permission to tape Banjo as he talked about the history of his life and his country and all that he had gone through, with the hopes that these tapes would be written into a book to share with the world. As a result Camilla Chance has written this amazing book about an amazing man, Banjo Clarke, "Wisdom Man."

This was a man who endured and witnessed decades of discrimination and hardship, yet as Banjo says in the book about hatred and anger: “Them things leave you in a flash if you see someone destitute or crying out for help.” He also came to accept that part of life was being lied about, but he found a way around that one too: "If you meet everybody openly, expecting to be friends for life, you're stronger than all the liars -- easy."

The book was on the best-seller list in Australia, and an Australian documentary made about it was nominated for a Humanitarian Award. Its author Camilla Chance was also the first non-Aboriginal to receive the prestigious Unsung Hero Aboriginal Award for her dedication and work for the Aboriginal people. In addition, the book has also won the award here in the USA for best Multicultural work.

View excerpts from the book »

An amazing and touching book - I could relate to all the Aboriginal beliefs. I felt like I had met him and his kids at the end of the book. It brought me to tears, really. Now Banjo lives more than ever through this publication even after his death. Nadema Agard, New York City, Native America artist/writer and author of Southeastern Native Arts Directory
Wisdom Man Preview
(25 mins.)WATCH VIDEO

This is a preview of an upcoming video about Banjo Clarke, an amazing Aboriginal Elder.

He told the story of Aboriginal traditions like caring for the land, taking only what you need, sharing with others and a deep, psychic connection to one's Elders.

Once published, the story became an Australian best-seller entitled, "Wisdom Man Banjo Clarke as told to Camilla Chance". The book is now in its second edition from Penguin.

Banjo lived from 1922-2000 and his funeral was the largest of any ever held in Warrnambool and district, Australia.