Graham Akhurst

UWA Publishing
1 October 2023


Graham Akhurst

Jono, a city-born Indigenous teenager is trying to figure out who he really is. Life in Brisbane hasn’t exactly made him feel connected to his Country or community. Luckily, he’s got his best friend, Jenny, who has been by his side through their hectic days at St Lucia Private.

After graduating, Jono and Jenny score gigs at the Aboriginal Performing Arts Centre and an incredible opportunity comes knocking — interning with a documentary crew. Their mission? To promote a big government mining project in the wild western Queensland desert. The catch? The details are sketchy, and the land is rumoured to be sacred. But who cares? Jono is stoked just to be part of something meaningful. Plus, he gets to be the lead presenter!

Life takes a turn when they land in Gambari, a tiny rural town far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Suddenly, Jono’s intuition becomes his best guide. He’s haunted by an eerie omen of death, battling suffocating panic attacks, and even experiencing visions of Wudun — a malevolent spirit from the Dreaming. What’s the real story behind the gas mining venture? Are the documentary crew hiding something from Jono? And could Wudun be a messenger from the land, fighting back against the invasion?

Borderland is a heart-pounding horror gothic that follows Jono on an epic quest to find himself in the face of unbelievable challenges. Graham Akhurst, the brilliant mind behind this coming-of-age gem, is a Fulbright scholar from the Kokomini of Northern Queensland. Brace yourself for a fresh, mind-bending tale exploring Indigenous identity, the impact of colonization, and what happens when you take a stand.

Age range 13+


The debut thriller by First Nations author Graham Akhurst is an engaging coming-of-age tale about a young Indigenous Australian man discovering who he is and what he stands for. When studying at performing arts school, Jono and his best friend Jenny are picked for an amazing opportunity shooting a documentary in the Western Queensland desert. Never mind that they are actually promoting a mining operation, he’s just thrilled to get the money and the exposure for his career. He also has strong feelings for Jenny, and maybe the time away together will allow a relationship to develop. But when they arrive in Gambari, the small town they are filming in, the reality is vastly different from his expectations.

Strangely, Jono and one of the other women on set are having visions of a pale man with sharp teeth who is both terrifying and very real. Jono discovers that he has a powerful connection to country and is being warned by the spirits that mining is making it sick. The fracking in the area is having environmental impacts on the land and waterways. With the help of a local elder, Jono must make some decisions about what he believes in, and try to heal his country.

A powerful debut that signals a talented writer with great potential, this story with strong characterisation and a horror theme is suitable for readers aged 14+.

This item is in-stock at 2 shops and will ship in 3-4 days

Our stock data is updated periodically, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Sign in or become a Readings Member to add this title to a wishlist.