Tag Archives: Indigenous culture

NAIDOC Week 2017


“I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land surrounding Redcliffe and Elders both past and present.

I also recognise those whose ongoing effort to protect and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures will leave a lasting legacy for future Elders and leaders.”

I also acknowledge the Elders past and present of my children’s and grandchildren’s country of the Wiradjuri people.


Nganga:  A Dictionary of Aboriginal Terms and Phrases – Aunty Fay Muir & Sue Lawson

Walker Books

June 2017

ISBN 9781921977015

Imprint: Black Dog Books

RRP $16.99

This is going to be a truly useful addition to your libraries as it explores the terminology related to First Australians. As we know there were many First Languages depending on country. This book details instead the terms used in common parlance and offers a concise and accurate definition of these, for example: cleverman, deadly, land rights, law or sorry business.

If you are familiar with Indigenous culture you will already know many of these but there are many who do not have close connections and will find this a very helpful little book.

Aunty Fay Muir is an Elder and Traditional Owner of Boon Wurrung country. This is her first book for children.

Sue Lawson’s name will be known to many for her stunning book ‘Freedom Ride’ among other work.

In my opinion, this is a must have for your units of work and general discussions on our First Australians. Highly recommended for both primary and secondary libraries and truly perfect to fit with this year’s NAIDOC theme.

On the Way to Nana’s – Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali. Illustrated by David  Hardy


Magabala Books

June 2017

ISBN: 9781925360301

RRP $17.99

This is another stunning picture book from Magabala Books with absolutely glorious illustrations perfectly reflecting the far north-west of Australia. As the family travel the long, long way to Nana’s house there is a countdown of sights spotted from fifteen to one.

So as well as sharing some geography and mapping with younger readers there is an excellent opportunity to integrate some maths.

The authors based the book on their own family travels from Broome to Nana’s in Wyndham, a journey of around a thousand kilometres across the magnificent Kimberley region.

Illustrator David Hardy has worked on animated films for Disney and is now a gaming illustrator/animator. Readers will be familiar with his Alfie books also published by Magabala.

Highly recommended for your younger readers from little tots up to around six years old.





Return of the Dinosaurs _- Bronwyn Houston

Magabala Books

November 2016


RRP $17.99

Over the years as a teacher-librarian I’ve probably lost count of the number of dinosaur books, both factual and fictional, I’ve seen or read or bought or circulated. This is the first one I have ever seen which incorporates an awareness of First Australian culture as Bronwyn Houston imagines what might happen if the dinosaurs returned to Broome.

The vibrant illustrations and simple but amusing text will appeal to young children, both boys and girls, and would lead to many discussions around country and time for all.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a huge supporter of Magabala Books and that the importance of teaching the children in our classrooms or libraries the respect and reverence for the history of our First People is dear to my heart.

Explore the Kimberley vicariously with your readers in the new year and make sure you put this book on your ‘to buy’ list. You will not be disappointed I know.return_of_the_dinosaurs_high_res_

Deadly D & Justice Jones: Rising Star (Book 2) – David Hartley and Scott Prince


Deadly D & Justice Jones: Rising Star – David Hartley and Scott Prince

Magabala Books

September 2014

ISBN: 9781922142504

Paperback 192 p.

Middle Primary

RRP $12.99

Deadly D and his friend Justice Jones are back again in another deadly adventure – this time not only with the footy flavour but an alien angle as well. David Hartley and Scott Prince have teamed up once more to provide Middle to Upper primary students, particularly boys but also all NRL lovers, another terrifically engaging read.

Deadly D has a curse, secret to everyone except his mum and his best bro, Justice. When he gets angry he turns into a huge hulking man with great physical strength and skills. That’s how he came to be playing for the Broncos alongside his heroes like Jonathan Thurston and Ben Barba.  Ordinarily just eleven year old Dylan, recently relocated to Brisbane with his mum, going to school and mucking around with his mate,  on weekends Dylan becomes Deadly D, a fast-rising top league player attracting much attention from fans and media. One particularly unsavoury newspaper reporter however seems to know more than others, and is continually harassing Deadly. Fortunately, he meets with a very satisfying end after some threatening moments.

Meanwhile, Deadly and Justice are less than enthused when their rather eccentric and footy mad teacher ,Mr B, sets a group task of making a billy cart and puts the two boys with new girl Taylor Niela. Both boys find her pretty but standoff-ish and snooty, though remarkably knowledgeable about physics and the scientific way to design the fastest billy cart ever.

They temporarily forget their chagrin over this however, and the whole class is ecstatic when they win the school attendance prize – a day trip to Dreamworld with the Queensland State of Origin team. The day starts off with a greeting at the Indigenous centre, followed by some huge fun in the waterpark – with the two authors making the most of opportunities to poke some gentle fun at some of the Origin heroes. Who would have thought that big Sam Thaiday would be afraid of heights and almost chicken out of going down the Wedgie waterslide, whimpering for his mum?  Sam’s resulting comical wedgie of his canary yellow speedos will give many readers a good chuckle.

In the midst of all the excitement, Deadly and Justice see stuck-up Taylor sneaking into the dingo enclosure to disappear underground mysteriously. When they follow her, they find out why she seems so different, how it connects with Deadly and his curse and how Deadly can help others in a really significant way, albeit at a cost to himself.

As with the first book, this is an easy to read and fun book which will engage many reluctant readers from around 9 years upwards. Hartley and Prince are onto a winning formula here and hopefully, we can expect to see more from them.