The ILF crew recently travelled to Yakanarra in the Kimberley to help the school staff setting up a library which would be shared with community. Karen flew up to Darwin and was picked up by Deb and Rick Dank, whose contribution was invaluable undertaking driving, carpentry, photography and many other jobs along the way.
The first night was camping under the stars and about 46 378 mangoes at Kununurra. We made a quick dash to Wyndham to deliver a wonderful book to St Joseph’s School. The book, which surely must be one of the longest in Western Australia, was produced by the children at Marrickville West Primary School on ILD in 2010. All children and staff at St Joseph’s were so impressed with the thoughtfulness and the amazing construction of the book. We had the whole school on the basketball courts helping to unfold the book.
Back on the road, we drove through Halls Creek to Fitzroy Crossing and then out to Yakanarra. There we met again the dedicated teaching team working along with Principal Helen Unwin. We also met Jessie and Ulee and June, all local people doing great things to support the children and teachers.
Since our last visit, Yakanarra had received books from Christ Church School in Perth and had been visited by a librarian who had made a great start to getting the books organised and on shelves. The local Council gave us the use of a house for the length of our visit and we were ready for work. After two days of moving and shelving and storing, the library was decorated with the art work of students and declared ready for use.
ILF will continue to work with Yakanarra community to assist community Elders with the writing and publishing of a community history book.
We drove out of Yakanarra feeling tired (mostly because we kept waking at 4.00 am) but so inspired by a dedicated group of family members, local workers and talented teachers who make up the community, in the truest sense, that is Yakanarra.