By Wheatley, NadiaIllustrated by Searle, Ken
Playing, learning, helping, sharing, having fun, showing respect. There are things which Indigenous children have been doing for thousands upon thousands of years. In traditional times, kids didn't have to go to school. The land was their school, and their playground. 'I thought ...my backyard was the biggest in the whole world! We had the ocean and sand dunes and lots of bush where lantana grew...We played hide-and-seek in the bush and among the dunes. Sometimes we played till it was nearly dark, even though we knew that Dad was very strict. He warned us that if we didn't get home before the sun went down the Little Hairy Men would get us.' - Elaine RussellSince European people have come to Australia, Aboriginal children have taken on some new games and toys, but they have continued to practice their culture. Whether they live on a remote outstation or in a busy city, Indigenous kids are still learning from country, and from their community.Read more
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NADIA WHEATLEY, the compiler of Playground, is an award-winning author and historian whose books over some thirty years reflect a commitment to issues of Reconciliation, social justice and the conservation of the environment. Together with KEN SEARLE, the book's illustrator and designer, Nadia worked as a consultant at Papunya School (Northern Territory) during the late 1990s, when the school was developing its own two-way model of education. At this time, Ken and Nadia were privileged to experience Indigenous principles of learning in action. As part of their work, they assisted forty Anangu staff and students with the production of the Papunya School Book of Country and History, which in 2002 won the New South Wales Premier's History for Young People Award as well as the award given by the Children's Book Council of Australia for the best information book of the year. Nadia and Ken later mentored Papunya artist Mary Malbunka through the process of writing and illustrating her award-winning picture book memoir, When I Was Little, like You. In Playground, Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle move outwards from the centre of Australia to continue their journey of listening to Aboriginal people and learning from country. DR JACKIE HUGGINS AM is of the Bidjara and Birri-Gubba Juru people of Queensland. As well as being a renowned historian, Jackie has held leadership positions in many Indigenous organisations across the country for over two decades, and she is a former Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia. In her role as Indigenous Consultant to Playground, Jackie acted as adviser and 'critical friend' to the book's compiler, Nadia Wheatley.
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