NAIDOC Week stories to help 'Heal Country'
16 Jun 2021
Every year, NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia during July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is an opportunity for all Australians to engage in First Nations’ cultural knowledge and history, and for educators, families and librarians across the country, using children’s books and stories can help kids learn more.
The 2021 NAIDOC theme is: Heal Country, heal our nation, and calls for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and heritage.
Our Free Access Stories for the month of July reflect this important learning area, and embrace First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as a part of our national heritage. Use the below stories to engage children in First Nations’ stories, with a key focus on building awareness and respect for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their connection to Country.
Respected Elder Aunty Joy Murphy welcomes us to Country with a Wurundjeri Wominjeka (welcome) and beautifully, yet simply, explains the concept of welcoming ceremonies and their significance to Aboriginal communities across Australia.
Welcome to Country is available to watch free during July for Australian & New Zealand audiences.
A story inspired by author Ezekiel Kwaymullina's grandmothers, who passed on their love of country to him. Read by singer Isaiah Fibrace, My Country is a jubilant journey through a child's home country, celebrating the joys of nature and emphasizing the connection between Indigenous Australians and their land.
An environmental tale from Sally Morgan that shows how animals are affected by rubbish left in their habitat by humans. Ambelin Kwaymullina's illustrations are an explosion of colour and cleverly show the perils faced by our native animals. Read by actor Miah Madden, this timely story is a great reminder to everyone that we must work together to look after our environment!
*This book is not suitable for younger children. Educators and parents encouraged to watch story read first to determine if age-appropriate.*
The epic and tragic story of Jandamarra. Set in the Kimberley region in north-west Australia, this is the story of a young warrior born to lead. To the settlers, he was an outlaw to be hunted. To the Bunuba, he was a courageous defender of his country. Read by actor Trevor Jamieson, Mark Greenwood's text and Terry Denton's watercolour illustrations bring to life this story of conflict and divided loyalties.
The Lost Girl depicts the unique and unbreakable bond between Indigenous Australians and the natural environment as Mother Nature helps a lost girl stay safe and secure and find her way back to her family. From author Ambelin Kwaymullina, and richly detailed illustrations depicting the natural environment by Leanne Tobin, this beautiful story is told by Lille Madden.
In late August, Story Box Library will be releasing Found, by Bruce Pascoe, published by Magabala Books, and read by Emma Donovan for Melbourne Writers Festival. This gentle story set in the rugged Australian bush is about a small calf who becomes separated from his family, who have been taken away in the back of a noisy truck. So begins the little calf’s journey to find his family again. Published by Magabala Books.