After 12 months of writing and illustrating their stories, seven of the eight authors of Growing Up in Nyirrpi, finally got to see their published book on November 18. Jacinta Price, Warlpiri woman, singer/songwriting and Imparja TV presenter, officially launched the book.
‘‘It’s a wonderful, positive experience for the young authors. It creates self-worth and identity for them to know their stories are important and who they are as individuals,” said Ms Price.
‘‘They can become anything they want when they’re older and know what they’re capable of doing.’’
The young authors, Lisa and Desphina, who began writing their stories and later inspired other students in their class to write stories, were both present at the launch in Alice Springs. The excited group of students drove five hours and 420km with the Principal, Wendy Jones, to participate in the launch. Hosted by the Alice Springs Public Library, the news got around town and attracted a large audience including local school children, past teachers of Nyirrpi School, and Yamba – the famous Honey Ant!
The Warlpiri students, speakers of more than two languages, took pride in sharing their stories with the audience.
"Their stories and illustrations give you a real glimpse into these children's lives. Publishing this book validates to these children that their stories are just as important as stories from authors all over the country and world," said Tina Raye, ILF Program Manager.
It was a wonderful celebration for these kids from the desert who have now taken the books home to share with their family and community.
"Most of the communities out here don't have a print rich home environment. And it's important that we get books into these situations, especially to develop that love of books," said Wendy Jones, Principal, Nyirrpi School.
Our Foundation will add Growing Up in Nyirrpi to our Book Supply Program in 2014, allowing many children in remote communities to read the Nyirrpi stories and no doubt be inspired to write some of their own.
Many thanks to Alice Springs Public Library and Jacinta Price for their involvement.