Indigenous stories get ready for school

Indigenous stories are being brought to life in primary school classrooms by one of the world’s most remote publishing houses – Magabala Books in Broome, WA.

Magabala is developing teaching resources for 15 Indigenous titles on the Reading Australia website, which showcases the work of leading Australian writers and illustrators.

The first four titles, available from March, will be Once There Was a Boy by Dub Leffler, The Lizard Gang by Kirra Somerville and Grace Fielding, Mad Magpie by Gregg Dreise, and Fog a Dox by Bruce Pascoe.

A further four more titles and resources will be available from July.

The project is supported by a $33,500 grant from the Copyright Agency.

Magabala Books was founded by Indigenous elders to protect Indigenous stories and cultural protocols.

Chairperson Edie Wright said: “With increasing demand for Indigenous content as a result of the Australian curriculum, it is vital that teachers have access to stories authored by Indigenous people.

“You cannot replace the power of reading a story from an Indigenous person’s perspective.”

Copyright Agency chief executive Adam Suckling said teachers often found it difficult to find resources to bring the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories to life in the classroom.

“Every student in Australia should be leaving our school system with a real appreciation of our uniquely Australian stories and we are delighted to support the teaching of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories through our not-for-profit website Reading Australia,” he said.

“It is the go-to resource for teachers who want to tap into a breadth of Australian stories.

“The resources are all written by teachers for teachers.”

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