Ochre and Rust offers a fresh perspective on frontier relations between Australian Aboriginal people and European colonists. Nine museum artefacts take the reader into a fascinating zone of encounter and mutual curiosity between collectors and those indigenous people who piqued or responded to their interest. While colonialism is the broad frame, details gleaned from archives, images and the objects themselves reveal a new picture of interaction between individual Aboriginal people and European collectors. Philip Jones explores and makes sense of particular historical moments in colonial history, when Aboriginal people perceived and expected other, more elusive outcomes. Ochre and Rust, an elegantly written challenge to received wisdom about the colonial frontier, has won Australia's inaugural Prime Minister's Award for Literary Non-Fiction.