Ten young women from the senior girls’ class from Tiwi College, Melville Island (NT), celebrated today as their newly published book, Shallow in the Deep End was launched at The State Library of NSW.
The book was written, illustrated and designed by the students over three days at an ILF writing workshop. Facilitated by author, Jared Thomas and supported by Scholastic Australia, the collaboration is part of the ILF Create Initiative that aims to improve literacy skills of young Indigenous girls still at school.
Shallow in the Deep End tells the tale of a water buffalo called Shallow and her friend Bruno the dog, who have a lot of fun, get into a lot of trouble and create a lot of havoc!
Clare Hallifax, Publishing Manager at Scholastic Australia, spoke at the launch this morning, thanking the girls for “helping us open the world of books and love of reading across Australia”.
She also spoke about the importance of creating opportunities for cultural exchange and sharing of Indigenous wisdom through storytelling, both Dreamtime and contemporary Indigenous stories. “Diversity is our country’s richness and future...we need stories to reflect all of Australia, the most important being from Indigenous stories”.
Jared Thomas said the girls were inspiring and he “was completely blown away by the range of ideas from the girls”. He acknowledged that not only have the students released a wonderful book out into the world for children, but they have also “provided readers with the joy, connection and youth of the Tiwi people, country and culture”.
Two of the Tiwi College girls, Judy and Bobette concluded the event by sharing their week’s experience and gave a sneak peak of their new creation. “Thank you to the ILF, we really love what you do for our communities, and Jared, we hope we’ve made you proud”, Judy said.
The girls will take copies of the book back to their community tomorrow and it will be released for public sale at bookshops around Australia through Scholastic in June 2017.
In the mean time, take a look at the three other fabulous books written by Tiwi College including Bangs 2 Jurrukuk (2013) written with John Danalis and supported by Allen & Unwin, Tiwi Girl (2014) written with Alison Lester and supported by Harper Collins, and Our Story (2015) written with Anita Heiss and supported by Hachette Australia.