‘Reading Australia’ and Magabala Books team up to bring Indigenous stories into the classroom

In recent weeks, all across Australia, teachers and children have headed back into the classroom and jumped into the new school year. Classrooms have been organised and decorated. Lessons have been planned and resources printed and created.

In 2017, however, there will be a new set of resources made available to primary school teachers across the country, all devised to bring new Aboriginal perspectives and indigenous stories into our countries classrooms.

Thanks to a $33,550 grant from the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, the remote publishing house Magabala Books have devise and deliver specially created teaching resources for 15 indigenous stories, which will be available via the Reading Australia website.

With Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture becoming increasingly a priority within the curriculum, the dearth of quality teaching resources devoted to these perspectives has been noted. It is this void that the Copyright Agency, Magabala Books and the Australian Literacy Educators Association (ALEA) hope to fill with this new program.

As the Copyright Agency’s CEO Adam Suckling notes, “Every student in Australia should be leaving our school system with a real appreciation of our uniquely Australian stories”.

Whilst Grant Webb, president of the ALEA stated, “ALEA encourages teachers to choose texts that have the potential to enrich the lives of students and expand the scope of their experience. It also encourages the use of texts that have enduring artistic and cultural value including the oral narrative traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as the use of texts written by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

Fifteen Indigenous titles have been selected by Magabala Books, and the accompanying resources will be rolled out over the course of the year, with resources for the first four titles available from March. All of these resources will be housed on the Reading Australia website.

The selected titles and resources include:

Stage 1 – available March 2017

Once There Was A BoyDub Leffler
The Lizard GangKirra Somerville (Illustrated by Grace Fielding)
Mad MagpieGreg Dreise
Fog a Dox – Bruce Pascoe

Stage 2 – available July 2017

Two MatesMelanie Prewett (Illustrated by Maggie Prewett)
Scaly Tailed Possum and EchidnaCathy Goonack (Illustrated by Katrina Goonack, Marlene Goonack & Myron Goonack)
Stolen Girl – Trina Saffioti (Illustrated by Norma MacDonald)
The Girl from the Great Sandy DesertJukuna Mona Chuguna and Pat Lowe (Illusrated by Mervyn Street)

To access the specially created resources, essays, monthly updates, book news and competitions, teachers can visit the Reading Australia website and register for FREE.

Header Image: Book covers for the four Stage 1 titles