Back On Country: Welcome to Our Country
A&U Children’s, 2022
24pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Mum is taking David and Lucy on a road trip to visit her family and they are as excited as they are curious for this is their first time back on Country and there are so many special places to see, things to do, stories to hear and words to learn. This is their time to reconnect with their Aboriginality, and learn about their land and culture and how they fit within it from their Elders. As the children find out, it can be very emotional and spiritual as they learn of the generations who have gone before and how those ancestors continue to influence and impact their modern lives.
The third in this series, which includes Somebody’s Land and Ceremony, young readers continue to learn about what is behind the Acknowledgement of Country that has become an integral part of the day in so many schools now. As with the others, this is a story from the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders ranges in South Australia, the country of author Adam Goodes. with stunning illustrations and text featuring both English and Adnyamathanha words (which are explained in a visual glossary on the endpages). As well as the introductory background notes on the verso, there is a QR code that leads to a reading of the story as well as teachers’ notes available to download.
In my opinion, this series is one of the most significant publications available to help our young children understand and appreciate the long-overdue recognition of our First Nations people in schools, so that when they hear a Welcome to Country or participate in an Acknowledgement of Country they do so with knowledge of and respect for all that is contained in the words.