A wonderfully engaging and heartening account of a successful Aboriginal community based at a beautiful beach site in Arnhem Land
Come and spend some time with us at Bawaka. Get a taste of what it is like at different times of the year, and listen to our stories.
Laklak Burarrwanga and family invite you to their Country, centred on a beautiful beach in Arnhem Land. Its crystal waters are full of fish, turtle, crab and stingray, to hunt; the land behind has bush fruits, pandanus for weaving, wood for spears, all kinds of useful things. This country is also rich with meaning. 'We can go anywhere and see a river, hill, tree, rock telling a story.'
Here too is Laklak's own history, from her long walk across Arnhem Land as a child to her people's fight for land rights and for a say in their children's schooling. She and her family stand tall, a proud and successful Indigenous community.
In the Yolngu world, we have a library in the land. You can't destroy it. If you burn it, it grows again. The land is full of more knowledge than you can imagine.
'Welcome to My Country is a beautifully warm, inviting experience. As soon as I read 'When the moon goes past you can see its reflection (in the water) like the inside of your heart', I knew this would be a very special read. Being immersed in an 'experience' is the way I would describe this book. It is an enticing journey into the heart of Yolngu life, in all its wonder across the physical, artistic and spiritual world. I love the conversational style - we walk, talk and sit down with family on every page. Lovely.' - Ros Moriarty, author of Listening to Country
Laklak Burarrwanga is a Datiwuy Elder, Caretaker for Gumatj, and eldest sister. As a teacher at Bawaka in north-east Arnhem Land, she has spent decades sharing her knowledge with the children of her community. Tourists and government staff and visitors from all walks of life have also learnt much from Laklak and her family.
Laklak's co-authors in Welcome to My Country are her sisters and daughter (Ritjilili Ganambarr, Merrkiyawuy Ganambarr, Banbapuy Ganambarr, Djawundil Maymuru), and academics Sarah Wright, Sandie Suchet-Pearson and Kate Lloyd, who have been adopted into the family. They have worked together since 2006, and completed two books and several articles.
Runner-up, CBCA Eve Pownall Award, 2014
Short-listed, APA Educational Publishing Awards, Secondary Junior, 2014
Table Of Contents:
Rangan (paperbark) Hidden layers of Yolngu meaning
1 Gapu (water) A system for everything
2 Miyapunu [turtle] Counting and sharing
3 Banumbirr (the morning star) Astronomy and Space
4 Gara (spear) The sharp end of hunting and justice
5 Walu (the sun) Moon and tides and sisters seven
6 Baru (crocodile) Rain, tears, the eye of the fire
7 Gurrutu (kinship) Layers of connection and belonging
8 Ganguri (yam) Bush foods and natural farming
Djapana (sunset) Endings
Allen & Unwin
A & U Children