Duncan Smith & Nicole Godwin

Jandamarra Cadd

Wild Dog, 2023

32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99


Listen, and you will hear the voices of Ancestors.

At a time when there is such an important focus on Australia’s First Nations peoples,  this is a timely release to help students better understand the need for the referendum, where it has come from and what it is based on. 

Accompanied by the stunning artworks of Yorta Yorta man Jandamarra Cadd, each of which has its own story and significance, this is a book that has the minim um of text but the maximum of meaning.  While our students may have some knowledge and awareness of the importance of Country to indigenous people, this book explains the weight behind the acknowledgement of the phrase “elders, past, present and emerging” that is expressed in any Welcome to Country address.

This is a book that should not be shared without also using the teachers’ notes because they provide critical background information…

The Uluru Statement from the Heart
Key elements from the Uluru Statement from the Heart underpins the text … The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to all Australians to walk together towards a better future. It provides a roadmap with three key pillars – Voice, Treaty and Truth.

It explains why and what The Voice is, why it requires a referendum to be put in place, and what it will achieve if the referendum is successful.

But beyond that, it also has a strong element of text-to-self as readers are encouraged to consider the hopes and dreams of the children on the front cover and relate that to their own, while also having them investigate the Country they live on, its indigenous languages and stories. 

 If the referendum is unsuccessful, it is unlikely to be the end of the narrative of the requests and rights of our First Nations people to be recognised, so this book, in conjunction with We are Australians should form the core of a modern indigenous library collection as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures strand of the curriculum.

Together, they are a powerful and essential resource on which to base positive change for the future. 

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