What People Have Said About Eddie's Country.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers of this page should be aware that seeing images of deceased persons or reading their names may cause sadness or distress and in some cases may offend against cultural prohibitions.

All viewers of this page should be aware of the cultural sensitivity of some of the issues and material which it discusses. Please be aware of the sensitivities of the living relatives and friends of those whose stories are recorded here.


One of the most important, authentic Australian books of my lifetime. More than countless studies of Aboriginal Australia, it breaks the silence and is a true epic of tragedy, political betrayal and heroism. Here is the secret life of Australia, and no reader can remain a bystander.
John Pilger, Journalist, December 2005.

Eddie's Country is a really good book, congratulations.
Meredith Curnow, Associate Publisher Vintage, Knopf, Random House, May 2006.

Just finished reading Eddie's Country... You've done a great job telling this story. The way you've told it shows the way in which racism works in institutionalised and personal contexts and the devastating effects of racism in people's lives. It's the kind of book that you read and then you want everyone you know to read it as well. Good on you.
Ali Smith, Wollongong, June 2006.

Both stirring and bleak, Eddie's Country is about an epic struggle for justice and the depths of denial that allow such miscarriages of justice to prevail.
Perry Middlemiss, Weekend Round-Up, New Maltilda, June 2006.

It’s essential reading… it’s a book that Australia needs to make careful note of… this is a story that needs to be told… it gives you strength, courage and inspiration… it’s a story about people coming together and fighting back… the story of Eddie’s parents will move you deeply… this book deserves the widest audience, it holds lessons which must be learnt by all Australians…
Senator Lee Rhiannon, June 2006.

I have just finished your book which has brought together many issues regarding the unfairness of the way Aboriginal people have been and still are treated since colonisation. I feel sad for poor Arthur and his family and would like to help in some way. But the troubles just seem to keep on getting bigger… I did strike one ray of hope though in your account of your trip with Arthur when you said that you saw a different Australia through his eyes. This has been our experience too when travelling around Australia or talking to Indigenous people. We inhabit different countries that’s for sure! But why can’t we share our country? … Anyway – congratulations on the book to both you and Arthur. It takes enormous effort to turn a dinosaur around – and I think that is what Arthur and Leila started to do and the momentum they began will continue. There are many white Australians of goodwill who want to see a fairer judicial system and an accountable police force, as well as ‘black fellows’ so its up to us to push our pollies in the right direction!
Doreen Lyon, Thirlmere, June 2006.

Simon Luckhurst's account of Eddie's death is as disturbing as Helen Garner's of the murder of Joe Cinque. Their marvellous, harrowing books are both about simple, honest parents desperately trying to get justice for a dead son ...and being treated wretchedly by the justice system.
Phillip Adams, Radio National, June 2006.

...Eddie's Country, a book that takes the reader beyond the formality, the statistics and the mind-numbing complexity of the Australian Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody... Simon Luckhurst... complements the story with rich historical, cultural and social perspectives... Luckhurst provides comprehensive detail on the indigenous-initiated political activities that led to this historical (Royal Commission). Luckhurst is thorough in his analysis (and) skilled in summarising important details whilst still conveying the complexity of the processes or arguments involved as they relate most specifically to Eddie's death...
Sonja Kurtzer, Australian Book Review.

...Eddie's Country is about more than Eddie Murray. It is also about Eddie's ancestors, generations of Aborigines who suffered mistreatment at the hands of authorities. Central to the story are Arthur and Leila Murray, Eddie's parents, who agitated for years to have Eddie's case properly investigated. Both stirring and bleak, "Eddie's Country" is about an epic struggle for justice and the depths of denial that allow such miscarriages of justice to prevail.
Fiona Capp, The Age Magazine: A2 Culture and Life, 24 June 2006.

"The strength of this book lies in its detailed account of the relationships that were worven into Eddie's life and the people who were affected by his death. The ability of his family to keep going through the grief of losing someone they loved and their determination to seek justice for him is inspiring... the book also highlights how the system that treated Eddie Murray with such little care has been unable to provide an adequate apology or closure for his family."
Professor Larissa Behrendt, National Indigenous Times, 29 June 2006.

What an amazing story… It's a shame that such a story is actually true in this century in Australia. It shows a side of life that most Australians are not aware of and what living as an Aboriginal in Australia was, and can still be like. I was left feeling that the "lucky country" is not always lucky for everyone, but also great admiration for Arthur and his family for their continuing search for truth, even in the face of their own customs and wider communities' pressures. Well done to Simon Luckhurst for bringing a real family's story to life, if no-one ever talks about these issues, then no one will ever know, and nothing will ever be done to change them. Thankyou Simon for taking your readers a step further along the road to a "lucky country" for everyone.
Melanie Cocca, Wollongong, July 2006.

I just completed reading Eddie's Country. I thought it was great that you told the truth so now it's out there. I would just like to congratulate you on a job extremly well done!
Starla, via email, July 2006.

I am emailing you to congratulate you on your book Eddie's Country, not only was it shatteringly moving, it represents a part of Australia's history which has come and gone for many. ...once I read it I couldn't put it down, and although I knew the story, you have encapsulated so much more, the heart. And I am being serious when I say it broke through to me.
Adrian, via email, July 2006.

I read Eddie's Country. I couldn’t put it down. It's a wonderful read and an incredible story... so well told.
Elizabeth, via email, August 2006.

Simon Luckhurst’s Eddie’s Country: Why Did Eddie Murray Die? (is) the painful yet essential story of Arthur and Leila Murray’s fight for justice following the tragic death of their 21-year-old son Eddie in Wee Waa police station in northern NSW in 1981. Eddie’s Country will help readers understand national tensions between police and the Aboriginal community and the family’s despair of ever getting justice – or unravelling the truth about Eddie’s death. The Murrays viewed their son’s case not only as a personal tragedy but a political cause, and this is how the book should also be considered.
Dr Anita Heiss, The Bulletin, September 2006.

Finished the book last night. It was... frustrating. What the hell is wrong with people that a case like that still goes unanswered?!
Jess, via email, December 2006.

To an uneducated Pommie, it was quite a shocking tale, not least because it's not ancient history but mostly took place since my only visit to Australia. Congratulations on your sensitive and readable narrative, and I look forward to some more.
David from England, January 2007.

Yaama Simon, thank you for your book. It is most valuable, not just for reading, but... its relevance to our Aboriginal history.
Aunty (Walgan) Noelie, Dhiiyaan Indigenous Centre based at the Moree Library, May 2008.

Hi Simon, Wow, I just finished Eddie's Country (which I bought at the National Museum). What a story. What a telling! I had no idea that you'd taken on such an enormous task and such a big challenge to our social justice (or lack of) system.
Anna Jarrett, Storyteller, May 2008.