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An exciting book based on the Tiwi Islands and authentically illustrated by 6 young talented Tiwi upcoming artists and well-known artist, Anne McMaster. A group of four young ‘cousin-brothers’ go on a barramundi fishing trip early one morning. They have adventures with a sleepy crocodile, a hungry eagle, the weather and in some cases, a lack of fishing skills! However, thanks to the skills of one of the boys they return home with two fat, silver barramundi to share with the family. They manage to just beat the first of the big summer rains, as the wet season, Jamutakari, arrives - to cook one fish on the fire before the big drops begin to fall. Jennifer Ullungura Clancy, a Traditional Owner of the Mantiyumpi land Owning Group where the Tiwi College is built says: “I am excited to help launch this book for the Tiwi students and the wider Australian public to learn some stories about Tiwi life from the eyes of our Tiwi kids. I fully support the publication of this book, as part of the Reading Tracks collection, and congratulate the students of Tiwi College on their wonderful illustrations.” Elders Jennifer Ullungura Clancy and Benita Tipiloura worked with the artists and author Margaret to ensure the cultural appropriateness of the book.
Margaret, M.Ed (TESOL), is the winner of several awards and accolades including NT Australian of the Year finalist, QUT Faculty of Education outstanding alumni, Courier Mail 50 Brightest and Best. She was shaped by her multilingual rural childhood in Southern Africa where Indigenous languages surrounded her. This significantly influenced her choice of tertiary studies - among these were linguistics, languages, education, Teaching English as an Additional Language, choral conducting and voice. This background was to prove invaluable when, after a fulfilling and varied career in several countries, she moved into Indigenous Education in Australia. The paucity of engaging, early-reading material for EALD learners and her relationship with Elders of several Australian Nations, led her to develop several linguistically and culturally appropriate books and resources in English and several Aboriginal languages. Her first series is the innovative and highly successful Honey Ant® Readers. While visiting schools and communities in order to deliver Professional Development for the Honey Ant® Readers, Margaret became increasingly aware of the similar need for engaging, early-reading material for older learners as well. She worked closely with Elders, students and illustrators to develop linguistically and culturally appropriate learn-to-read story books for older readers, and books which could be enjoyed by non-Indigenous readers equally, while teaching them about the cultures and food gathering practices of Australian First Peoples. This included trips to the desert and the coast with Elders and children who shared their knowledge about tracking, hunting and fishing for food. Reading Tracks® - stories about hunting, tracking and fishing - is the result! Anne McMaster MFA, a nationally and internationally renowned and multi-award winning artist, is also a very experienced art teacher who taught art at Tiwi College for 7 years before moving to become Head of Visual Arts at Haileybury Randell School in Darwin in 2019. She feels very proud to have collaborated with the students for this beautifully illustrated book, which is based on the hunting and fishing adventures of four young cousins. Crystal Butler lives at Pirlangimpi, on the west coast of Melville Island and attends Tiwi College boarding school. Her skin group is mullet. Her country is Goose Creek on Melville Island. Her dreaming is shark. She created 2 paintings: 1. The eagle grabbing the bait. 2.The croc grabbing the fish. Ruby Brooks, already a well-known Tiwi artist, is from Pajuwapura, on the west coast of Bathurst Island. She is a senior student at Tiwi College. Her dreaming is rainbow serpent. Her skin tribe is sun, from her mother. Every spare chance she gets, she likes to draw. She painted 4 pictures for this book: 1. The boys leaving the house. 2. Putting the bait on the hook. 3. The boys swimming in the waterhole. 4. The boys sitting around the camp fire. Martine Puruntatameri, already a successful artist, is from Millikapiti on the northern coast of Melville Island. Her skin group is jungle fowl. Her skin tribe is sun and her country is Yapilika. Martine is a boarder at Tiwi College. She painted the barra. Jayden Apatimi is from Pirlangimpi, on the west coast of Melville Island. His skin group is shark. He likes art and his Auntie is an artist at Tiwi Design. He would like to illustrate another book for Margaret. He painted the croc picture for this book. Maletta Warrior Rioli lives at Pirlangimpi, on the west coast of Melville Island, and is a boarding student at Tiwi College. Her skin tribe is sun. Her mother is Tiwi, her father is Torres Strait. Her mother’s dreaming is turtle. Her other dreaming is jungle fowl. Her father is crocodile and dugong. Both her parents are artists and she likes to learn from them. She painted two illustrations: 1. The barra on the fire. 2. The boys collecting wood. Demaga Warrior lives at Pirlangimpi, on the west coast of Melville Island and attends Tiwi College. Her skin tribe is sun. Her dreaming is turtle and jungle fowl. She plays guitar and is also a dancer. Her father is a print maker and artist from Torres Strait and her mother makes her art from home. She painted the 2 barra in the bag for this book.
A unique book, brilliantly illustrated by 6 young talented Tiwi artists and their art teacher. It fills a gap in the young adult market. It instills pride and confidence in Indigenous readers because they are the characters. The book raises awareness of Indigenous people and their cultures for non-Indigenous learners. For such a unique resource developed with many contributors, the book is good value. FOR: Middle Schoolers and readers of all ages interested in fishing or in learning more about Indigenous food gathering practices. It helps to broaden awareness, deepen understanding and change attitudes towards Australia's first peoples. WHY: Beautiful, colourful, humorous illustrations which engage readers. Brochures, website, speak at conferences, promotional material to stakeholders, media - radio, video, TV, newspaper. Social media. Flyers.
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