By Mayor, ThomasIllustrated by Douglas, Blak
Author Thomas Mayor's journey taking the message of the Uluru Statement to the people of Australia has been a moving experience. When he visited schools, in particular, the children surprised him. Their generation is the first to learn Indigenous languages, to appreciate Indigeno...us knowledge of the seasons, and learn the the truth of our history. Some children he met even knew more about the Australian Constitution than most adults do! The expression, 'if only we could see the world through a child's eyes' is put into practice through the pages of this picture book for 5- to 10-year-olds. It is an important part of the people's movement for Voice, Treaty and Truth, helping children - and by extension, their families - to think about why substantive constitutional change is needed. Featuring colourful illustrations, this book demonstrates that the heart of the nation can be found through an appreciation of First Nations' culture. Only then will we come to collectively define our national identity.Read more
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Thomas Mayor is a Torres Strait Islander man born on Larrakia country in Darwin. As an Islander growing up on the mainland, he learned to hunt traditional foods with his father and to island dance from the Darwin community of Torres Strait Islanders. In high school, Thomas's English teacher suggested he should become a writer. He didn't think then that he would become one of the first ever Torres Strait Islander authors to have a book published for the general trade. Instead, he became a wharf labourer from the age of seventeen, until he became a union official for the Maritime Union of Australia in his early thirties. Quietly spoken in character, Thomas found his voice on the wharves. As he gained the skills of negotiation and organising in the union movement, he applied those skills to advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples, becoming a signatory to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a tireless campaigner. Following the Uluru Convention, Thomas was entrusted to carry the sacred canvas of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. He then embarked on an eighteen-month journey around the country to garner support for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice, and a Makarrata Commission for truth-telling and agreement-making or treaties. Thomas's journey continues, both in person and through the pages of this book for young Australians. Born Adam Douglas Hill to an Aboriginal father of the Dhungutti people and an Irish-Australian mother, Blak Douglas lives and works in the Sydney suburb of Redfern. He is trained in illustration and photography, and became a self-taught painter. His artistic style is influenced by the study of graphic design and his focus on social justice. His works have appeared at the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of NSW, National Maritime Museum, National Museum of Australia, Australian Museum, Taipei Museum and the Aboriginal Art Museum in Utrecht, Netherlands. He is a successive finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize and Mosman Art Prize, and an Archibald Prize finalist in 2015, 2018 and 2019. Douglas is also a classically trained didgeridoo player, and has performed nationally and internationally accompanying the likes of Christine Anu, Emma and Casey Donovan, Jessica Mauboy, Jenny Morris, Jane Rutter and Peter Sculthorpe. He has also performed at the Deadly Awards, the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony, Yabun Festival and the welcome for Nelson Mandela.
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