Thomas Mayo is a Kaurareg Aboriginal and Kalkalgal, Erubamle Torres Strait Islander man.
He was a wharf labourer for sixteen years and is an official of the Maritime Union of Australia and is the author of four books as well as essays and articles published in the Griffith Review, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Guardian. His present works cover both historical and contemporary First Nations struggles, biographical narratives, fatherhood, masculinity, love and race.
Thomas was inspired to write his first book: Finding the Heart of the Nation – the Journey of the Uluru Statement towards Voice, Treaty and Truth, after being entrusted to carry the sacred Uluru Statement from the Heart canvas to Australians from all walks of life, soon after its creation in the heart of the country in 2017.
Thomas traveled throughout the nation for eighteen months with the Uluru Statement, taking it to the smallest of communities to the largest of city gatherings, playing a key role in building the peoples movement for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to what it is today. His first childrens book: Finding Our Heart, is a childrens book about the Uluru Statement. It has been a roaring success because of its contemporary art and powerful truth telling with a uniquely clear call to action.
Thomas’ most recent works are a childrens book about the Gurindji Wave Hill Walk Off, Freedom Day – Vincent Lingiari and the story of the Wave Hill Walk-off; and Dear Son – Letters and reflections from First Nations fathers and sons.
In Dear Son, Thomas invites twelve other First Nations men to join him, writing about life, love, masculinity and racism. Thomas writes that Dear Son is a celebration of First Nations men – an act of defiance against everything they were taught about themselves, and the stereotype taught to all Australians.