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Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Identity and Belonging: The Mind of a Thief Print Page

About the Author


Interviews with the author

In conversation with Natasha Mitchell of ABC Radio National, Life Matters, 22 January 2013, Patti Miller discusses her novel and experiences. To hear the interview follow the link "Interview with Patti Miller, ABC Radio",  once there click download on the page to listen to the interview.

Patti Miller in conversation with Caroline Jones


Historical Background

Articles about Identity and Belonging

 Don't Deny our Australian Identity

This article by Kevin Donnelly focuses on Australia Day, and what it means to celebrate Australia Day and analyses what it means to be an Australian in 2013.

The Drum ABC, 23 January 2013.

Stuck in the Middle

This article by Kevin Donnelly focuses on Australia Day, and what it means to celebrate Australia Day and analyses what it means to be an Australian in 2013.

Vibe Wire 6th February 2012

Like it or not, we're more diverse than ever this Australia Day

This article, written by Bob Birrell, a researcher at Monash University focuses on the changing face of Australia, a tale of two cities and nationdivided in regards to the celbration of Australia day and what it means to be Australian.

Vibe Wire, 31st January, 2013

About the novel

When writer Patti Miller discovers that the first post-Mabo Native Title claim was made by the Wiradjuri in the Wellington Valley where she grew up, she begins to wonder where she belongs in the story of the town. It leads her to the question at the heart of Australian identity – who are we in relation to our cherished stolen country?Feeling compelled to return to the Valley, Miller uncovers a chronicle of idealism, destruction and hope in its history of convicts, zealous missionaries, farmers and gold seekers who all took the land from the original inhabitants. But it's not until she talks to the local Wiradjuri that she realises there's another set of stories about her town, even about her own family. As one Wiradjuri elder remarks, 'The whitefellas and blackfellas have two different stories about who's related to who in this town'.Black and white politics, family mythologies and the power of place are interwoven as Miller tells a story that is both an individual search for connection and identity and a universal exploration of country and belonging.


Patti Miller The Mind of a Thief

The Newton Review

Anna Maria Dell’oso

"Native Title Not Black and White"

Peter Pierce Sydney Morning Herald August 4th 2012


People's Issues with identity and Belonging

The people listed below are famous and have made their mark on the world. Explore individuals that may have influenced the world but are less recognised. Also consider people you know personally who may have influenced your identity and belonging.

Rosa Parks

Nelson Mandela

Martin Luther King Jnr

Adolf Hitler

Osama Bin Laden

Barrack Obama

Benazir Bhutto

Identity & Belonging Quotes

"It takes a village to raise a child."- Old proverb.

“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known.” ― Chuck PalahniukInvisible Monsters

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”― Oscar Wilde

“If you understood everything I said, you’d be me”― Miles Davis

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”― Mahatma Gandhi

"Who are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?"- Scott Turow

"My identity began with the fact of my race, but it didn't, couldn't, end there. At least, that's what I choose to believe." - Barrack Obama

"Never forget what you are, for surelythe world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you." - George R Martin

Study Guides


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