An Aboriginal activist and respected community leader, Noel Pearson came from the Guugu Yimithirr Aboriginal community at Hope Vale, a Lutheran Mission on Cape York Peninsula. He graduated with an honours degree in history from the University of Sydney. Pearson completed a law degree in 1993. In 1990 Pearson co-founded the Cape York Land Council where he was Executive Director until he resigned in 1996. He continues to advise a number of Indigenous organisations in Cape York, and advocates self-determination and land rights for Indigenous people.

It is time to ask: are we Aborigines a serious people? … Do we have the seriousness necessary to maintain our languages, traditions and knowledge? … The truth is that I am prone to bouts of doubt and sadness around these questions. But I have hope. Our hope is dependent upon education. Our hope depends on how serious we become about the education of our people.

—Noel Pearson, Radical Hope

PUBLISHED: September 2009
RRP: $15.95
ISBN: 9781863954440 PAPERBACK
ISBN: 9781921825347 EBOOK


A work of universal significance in which Pearson once again shows himself to be Australia’s most powerful contemporary thinkers.  His essay is essential reading for all who care about the true nature of the society we have created in Australia. For the first time in my life I encountered here a mature insight into the private hells produced by the very kind of failed education I received as a boy growing up at the bottom of a class ridden culture in London after the war.

Alex Miller

I confess to experiencing moments of joy when reading Noel Pearson's essay. The opening pages made the rest of the piece irresistable reading.

Fred Chaney

Over the years, Pearson has prompted quite a few conservative Australians to a change of heart. He's now inviting us to go a little bit further than [John Howard] was prepared to, but it's a project that we should be ready to support.

Tony Abbott


Anna Krien
Coal, Coral and Australia's Climate Deadlock
David Marr
One Nation and the Politics of Race
Stan Grant
Blood, History and Becoming