Archive | May 13, 2024















Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson

Cheryl Davison

Wild Dog, 2024

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


Becoming more and more familiar to our younger students, and, indeed, the nation generally are the expressions of Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country.  But while they may hear the words, perhaps even recite them, what is meant by “Country”?

“Country is past, present and future.”

“Country is songs and stories, art and ceremony.”

“Country is waterholes, creeks and rivers.”

In a series of seemingly simple statements, superbly illustrated by Walbunja, Ngarigo woman Cheryl Davison, the complex concept of Country demonstrate that, to Australia’s indigenous peoples, Country is more than the physical landscape and landshapes – it is the emotional, spiritual, cultural connections to the past, present and future that govern their lives in a way that non-indigenous people rarely understand, let alone feel.  And that when Country is cared for, respected, even revered, then its people are too.

Released in time for National Reconciliation Week, 2024 (May 27-June 3) this is an ideal book for helping all ages to begin to understand the deeper meanings behind the words, each unpacking the statements at a level that they can grasp.  So while Kindergarten might read the final statement as just being environmentally based, older readers can delve deeper into considering what it might mean to be emotionally, spiritually and culturally healthy and how they can have that in their lives.

As more and more titles are released to shine a light on the positives of being an indigenous person so the understanding between cultures is developed, and “Now more than ever, we need to tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation.” This is the perfect one to begin the journey with our youngest readers and to continue it with those with a little more awareness.