Wilcannia, in central New South Wales, is the community featured in our latest community book, Ready for School, Wilcannia was launched on Friday 21st November at St Therese's school with over 70 parents, families and children.
Patrick Ellis, former teacher and principal of St Therese's school, developed the book with support from the Paakantji Language Circle. He consulted with members of the community and sought feedback to ensure the book covered all the areas they wanted and was culturally supportive. Our Foundation gifted 500 copies of the book to parents and organisations working with families in the region.
"Children learn so much every day. We don't always notice, but even when doing simple things like fishing or telling stories, kids are developing new skills. There are many ways to help kids get ready for school through normal everyday things. This book aims to show you how."
Patrick Ellis, author
Reading opens our murrpa eyes to the world. Let's give our murrpa the tools to broaden our world. Ready for School, Wilcannia book is a tool to help achieve this.'Uncle Murray Butcher, Coordinator Paakantji Language Circle
Uncle Murray Butcher, Coordinator, Paakantji Language Circle name
Many of the parents and local community were pleased to see how much the book reflected their community – from the beauitful photographs of the children, iconic river and even the friendly shingleback, to the Paakantji songs and rhymes.
The book was developed with the support of a fantastic editorial team at Penguin Australia, Prudence Upton who travelled to Wilcannia to take all the photographs and was made possible with a grant from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.
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