Wilam : A Birrarung Story
Aunty Joy Murphy
Black Dog Books, 2019
3-4yrs, 5-8yrs, Lower Primary, Primary
AC Links/EYLFEYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELA1426, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACHASSK013
EYLF1, EYLF2, EYLF3, EYLF4, EYLF5, ACELA1426, ACELT1575, ACELT1783, ACELT1580, ACELT1831, ACHASSK013, ACHASSK014, ACSSU002, ACSSU004, ACELA1443, ACELA1453, ACELT1582, ACELT1584, ACHASSK028 , ACHASSK031, ACSSU017, ACSSU211, ACSHE021, ACELA1460, ACELA1462, ACELT1587, ACELT1589, ACELT1591, ACSSU030, ACSHE034, ACAVAM106, ACAVAR109, ACELA1475, ACELT1594, ACELT1596, ACELT1599, ACELT1599, ACSHE050, ACAVAM110 , ACAVAR113, ACELA1487, ACELA1498, ACELT1602, ACELT1603, ACELT1605, ACHASSK088, ACSSU073, ACSSU075, ACELA1500, ACELA1500, ACELT1608, ACELT1609, ACELT1610, ACELT1612, ACHASSK112 , ACHASSK113, ACSSU043, ACAVAM114, ACAVAR117, ACELA1515, ACELT1613, ACELT1614, ACHASSK140 , ACSSU094
English, Woiwurrung language S36 (Vic SJ55-05)
Add to Favourites
- Glossaries and vocabularies
- Rivers and creeks
- Stream ecology
- Wurundjeri people (S36) (Vic SJ55-05)
- Yarra River (Vic)
Wurundjeri elder, Joy Murphy and Yarra Riverkeeper, Andrew Kelly tell the story of the animals which live along the Yarra River in Melbourne. Bunjil, the wedge-tailed eagle and creator spirit of the Wurundjeri, narrates the story as he oversees the journey of the Yarra River. The luscious illustrations of Lisa Kennedy, Trawlwoolway artist (N.E. Tasmania), flow through the pages, revealing live fish under the river and the creatures which live along the banks and in the trees.
There is a tribute to William Barak, Wurundjeri clan leader: ‘Me no leave it, Yarra my country. There’s no mountains for me on the Murray’. This refers to his resistance to the subdivision of his lands and his protection of the lands for his people, which inspired this book.
The narrative slips naturalistically and rhythmically between Woiwurrung and English. As the river moves from its mountain source, through the valley and plains we see native animals in their particular habitats. Eventually we glimpse how native animals are assimilated and nurtured into an increasingly urban environment. While the creator spirit of the Wurundjeri, Sharp eyed Bunjil soars overhead, William Barak, in possum skin cloak, affirms that the river is wilam, home and reclaimable.
'Wilam : a Birrarung Story' is available as a board book (Walker Books, 2021, ISBN 9781760653545). An essential difference is that board books are aimed at the pre-reader with its small size and sturdy format. The story itself is not aimed at the very young, but with an adult sharing, it offers an experience of Country. Both editions include the same illustrations although reduced for the board book there is some loss of the images which feature striking colours and textures. Endpapers in the large format are breathtaking. These do not appear in the board book version. Both editions include the glossary of Woiwurrung words appearing throughout the book and in a glossary. Essentially 'Wilam : a Birrarung Story' in either edition is presented with style and illustrated with striking images.
There is a British edition of this book published by Walker Books in 2020. The ISBN for this book is 978106392135.
- Teacher notes by Andrew Kelly and Lisa Kennedy. http://static.booktopia.com.au/pdf/9781925381764-1.pdf
- Connecting with the Aboriginal History of Yarra. A Teachers’ Resource. Levels 3-10. https://aboriginalhistoryofyarra.com.au/teachersresource.pdf
- Wilam: A Birrarung Story by Daniel Browning on AWAYE! https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/awaye/11258474