This morning, at the National Library of Australia, Alison Lester launched two fabulous new books - A Yakanarra Day and The Yakanarra Dogs - written and illustrated by the students of Yakanarra Community School, in the West Kimberley.
The books, written in both Walmajarri and English, were created during workshops run in 2012 by ILF Ambassador and Children's Co-Laureate Alison Lester and author/publisher Jane Godwin, with sponsorship from the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia.
(above, Jane Godwin and Alison Lester hand out book packs to the kids)
The books were translated this year into Walmajarri by two language teachers, Jessie Moora and Mary Vanbee (below, with a student), who teach at Yakanarra Community School, and who read from the books during the launch.
The Yakanarra school children were in Canberra for two days as part of their book tour, and it was so exciting to see these budding authors and illustrators peep with excitement as they opened their ILF packs and saw their books for the very first time.
The children also delighted the audience by singing a song.
Senior students from the school wrote A Yakanarra Day - Wangki Yakanarrajangka, a beautiful book which captures the countryside, river and fishing and daily life from daybreak to darktime. Junior students wrote The Yakanarra Dogs - Yakanarrajangka Kunyarrwarnti.
Both books reflect the beautiful small community located in the foothills of the St George Ranges between the Fitzroy River and the Great Sandy Desert, in Central Kimberley, Western Australia.
NLA Director-General, Anne-Marie Schwirtlich opened proceedings, followed by Juliet Rogers, Chair of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Helen Unwin, Principal at Yakanarra Community School, spoke (with great emotion) about the production process of the children's books, and Karen Williams, ILP Manager was also in attendance.
Published with the sponsorship of the Copyright Agency Limited Cultural Fund, the books can be purchased from the NLA online bookshop.