I think most people in the world are under the impression that Australia is very White and very unforgiving to minorities. I mean, who can blame them right? We are known, amongst our white sandy beaches and iconic landmarks, as a country of racists – a fact that many people try to perpetuate instead of deny. Our media constantly erases most everyone that doesn’t have the trademark sun-kissed skin (God forbid you were actually born brown) and we nationally celebrate the day that our country was officially stolen from its Indigenous population. We still haven’t passed laws allowing same-sex marriage, we treat asylum seekers like criminals and we have so much conscious and unconscious bias, it’s kind of ridiculous. And worst of all, we are so complacent in letting it all happen.
My parents are migrants and Australia has provided us all a better life and for that, I will forever be thankful to the country that I will always call home. Saying this, the complete and utter lack of empathy for minorities, especially for Indigenous communities on Australia Day, is something I will never proud of. However, I’m ever the optimist, and so one thing I will be celebrating today is the efforts of the Australian publishing industry to get diverse books into teen hands. Yes, we still have a far way to go. But considering the lack of diversity in YA as a whole, I think we are doing pretty well so far. Whilst some of the books below are still on my TBR (which will be rectified very soon, I promise), some are ones that I have already read and greatly enjoyed – I hope this list is helpful and you find some good books because of it!