Storytellers bewitch with visual yarns

As part of NAIDOC Week 2019, Story Box Library is releasing its latest instalment in the Indigenous Story Time series to make it easier for children to develop understandings of theirs and others’ cultures, languages and beliefs.

Story Box Library is a visual storytelling subscription service for schools, libraries and parents that has been delivering Australian stories read aloud by some of the country’s best storytellers since 2013.

During NAIDOC Week 2018, the service launched Indigenous Story Time to ensure better representation of First Nations peoples in their important storytelling work.

The Indigenous series was partly funded by the Australian Council for the Arts and featured the likes of Trevor Jamieson, Richard Green, Aunty Joy Murphy and Kamil Ellis.

The nineteenth release, in time for NAIDOC Week, is Trina Saffioti’s Stolen Girl and will be read by Anita Heiss.

The twentieth release will come in August and will feature Dan Sultan reading Alfie’s Search for Destiny by David Hardy.

The Australian Curriculum website states it “recognises the need for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to see themselves, their identities and their cultures reflected in the curriculum.”

However, many non-Indigenous teachers and educators feel unqualified to teach about Indigenous topics, themes and histories.

Story Box Library’s Education Consultant Jackie Small said while this fear of being unqualified is understandable, non-Indigenous educators are not expected to have all the knowledge at the ready.

“Out of respect for our First Nations peoples to not teach to this area due to fear would be a disservice to our Indigenous communities and to all Australian children,” Ms Small said.

“On the contrary, the key to developing learning programs around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures is consultancy and allowing Australia’s First Peoples to contribute to the learnings happening in our classrooms to ensure that an accurate and shared history is formed.”

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