Book launch: Belonging – A Novel

Date & time
5.30–6.30pm Tuesday 8 December 2020
ANU College of Law
Book launch
Book launch: Belonging – A novel

Book launch: Belonging – A Novel

Please join us in celebrating the launch of Belonging – A Novel by Associate Professor Anthony Hopkins on the ANU College of Law lawns or via Zoom.

The book will be launched by Professor Sally Wheeler OBE MRIA FAcSS FAAL, Pro-Vice Chancellor for International Strategy and Dean of ANU College of Law, following a book review by Professor Asmi Wood, ANU College of Law, ANU Indigenous Alumnus of 2020.

Books will be available to purchase at the event (cashless only) and after the event from Harry Hartog ANU. Ebooks are also available for purchase. All profits made from the sale of the book will be donated to Country Needs People, an Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) registered charity and non-profit in Australia supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sustainable management of land and sea.

There will be short speeches and musical performances commencing at 5.30 followed by an opportunity to meet the author. Guests are requested to arrive by 5.15 to complete COVID-19 safe registration for the event.


5.15-5.35pm: Registration and arrival drinks to musical accompaniment – Jye Cole Hopkins with Shane and Deb Nelson
5.35pm: Acknowledgement of Country – Shane Nelson, Wiradjuri, Walgalu and Nambri peoples
5.40pm: Professor Asmi Wood
5.45pm: Patrick O’Leary, Executive Director, Country Needs People
5.50pm: Richard Cawsey, Managing Partner, Denali Venture Partners
5.55pm: Associate Professor Anthony Hopkins
6.00pm: Jye Cole Hopkins – musical performance
6.05pm: Professor Sally Wheeler OBE – Official Launch
6.10-6.30pm: Drinks and canapes with musical accompaniment – Jye Cole Hopkins with Shane and Deb Nelson

Registration is essential for this event via Eventbrite as social distancing requirements of 1.5m means that the capacity will be limited. 

About the book

Belonging – A Novel by Anthony Hopkins

Matthew Tate finds a letter. It speaks of belonging and a mother he has never known. A semi-trailer and a freightless haul to the heart see him arrested and imprisoned in Alice Springs. Caged, haunted and alone, the 19-year-old is determined to find the truth.

Ben Fulton is a young, white lawyer from the city, working tenaciously for Aboriginal Legal Aid at the grinding coalface of the criminal (in)justice system in Central Australia. At the collision of Black and White, he too is searching.

Jordi Watts, a Warumungu woman, has no need to search. Walking lithely in two worlds, she runs the Aboriginal Legal Aid office in the alcohol-ravaged township of Tennant Creek. Jordi knows the beauty and pain of her people, holding both with the certainty of place.

Matthew, Ben and Jordi come together in the violence of court and the vastness of Country, alive with the vibrating energy of its people, of culture, art, tragedy and love, as the truth of Matthew’s past is revealed. From this unravelling comes possibility…

Praise for Belonging

‘This is a beautifully written story of the ugly Black and White side of Anglo-Australian law and colonisation. The author gives the reader a rare view of law, law that forms a hard White crust of an Australia, one that covers and hides the deep vast beauty and Blackness of this ancient continent…

It is a tale of the tragedy that besets both survivors and perpetrators … but it is also a love story: a love of justice, a love of humanity and most importantly a love of Country and all that entails.

If you dream of really sharing this continent, then do yourself a favour and read this book!’

– Asmi Wood, Professor of Law, ANU

‘Evocative … transfixing… It is a story of the pervasive and traumatic effects of colonisation, a ‘justice’ system that indifferently churns through people, land and, above all, love. It is a story that both reaches into the past and points a hopeful path to the future.’

– Lorana Bartels, Professor of Criminology, ANU

‘A beautiful bridge between worlds, an urgent call for compassion, and an ode to different ways of knowing, told with love, respect and hope … Read it with an open heart and an open mind and pass it on to someone who needs it.’

– Tim Hollo, Executive Director of the Green Institute

‘This is a must read for young lawyers trying to gain an understanding of how to navigate their practice when working in Aboriginal communities.’  

 – Antoinette Carroll, Youth Justice Advocate

‘A fine epic novel in the tradition of Xavier Herbert. I didn't want it to end.’

– Peter Read AM, Author of Belonging: Australians, Place and Aboriginal Ownership

About the Author

Anthony Hopkins is a white Australian who lives on Ngunnawal and Ngambri land in Canberra with his wife Kelli Cole, a Warumungu and Luritja woman from Central Australia and curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the National Gallery of Australia. He is the proud father of three sons who stand tall on the land of their ancestors.

Anthony is an Associate Professor and the Director of Clinical and Internship Courses at the ANU College of Law, as well as a practising criminal defence barrister. He is an award-winning teacher who teaches criminal law, evidence law and clinical courses in the ACT prison and with the Aboriginal Legal Service. Anthony’s research is focused on colonialism, inequality and marginalisation, as they shape, intersect with and are compounded by the criminal justice system. This work begins with recognising the importance of listening to the experiences of those caught in that system. His journey of listening began at the Central Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service in Alice Springs in 1997, as a law student intern, where he met Kelli, then working as an Aboriginal Field Officer, and was welcomed into her family. The journey continues and is supported by a mindfulness and compassion meditation practice.


Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team