Reviews and media coverage for the Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Resource

Reviews and media coverage for the Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Resource

Australian Children’s Television Foundation 12 August 2020

Chris Cheng, author and NCACL Ambassador

‘How wonderful!

Created for educators and parents alike, this rich and comprehensive database of Australian titles, suitable for children through to 12 years old, (stage 2 will reveal books for older children) is the perfect place to find the evolving compilation of published Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander children’s literature. 

The database, created by a team of experts including Aboriginal People and culturally diverse librarians, academics, booksellers, creators and parents, includes very many subjects (and I picked out just a few that intrigued me) such as Dreaming, Babies, Anangu, Dinosaurs, Alphabet, Languages, Greed, Cooking (Damper), Hairy Men, Quarrelling, Sheds, Sugarbag, Witchetty Grubs, … even as refined as Animal Migration. All the themes reveal connected Indigenous literary titles.  

Easily navigated, it has a comprehensive list of curriculum links and resources that may also include information about the creators, interviews, reviews, publisher notes and much more. Traditional stories as well as modern daily life are told with the illustrations ranging from photographic, to the traditional and more contemporary art styles. It is also searchable by a wide range of fields including subject, age range, publication year, and curriculum links.

It is thrilling to see so many Indigenous creators supported and promoted in such a thorough and outstanding way. This resource must be a first port of call for any person wanting to dig deeper and be immersed in the rich and varied culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples.’

Freemantle Press August 6 2020

Larry Brandy, Aboriginal storyteller

‘It is wonderful to have resources like this. I was happy to see that there are so many books written by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The first book that comes up in the database is A is for Aunty by Elaine Russell. It is one of my favourite books and inspired me to write W is for Wiradjuri, which is a colouring-in book with a few words in Wiradjuri. Our children are the Elders of the future so it is wonderful to see so many beautiful books to inspire them.’

Associate Professor Robert Somerville AM, Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Australian Indigenous Education and Research, Edith Cowan University

‘Congratulations to the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature on its  recent launch of the outstanding  K -12 years of age Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Resource.

With conversations so focussed on issues such as Black Lives Matter the need for diverse and balanced reading material has been bought to the forefront. And wow, possibly not the most academic descriptor to use in providing a critique on this first-class  resource, but it is the word that aptly summarises my initial reaction.

The resource will be a bonus for educators and caregivers alike. Educators are not only provided with numerous titles to be explored but also a host of support features that will certainly enhance the educative process. These features include links to national curriculum and the EYLF, teaching resources such that the book can be used as an anchor point for topics as diverse as ANZAC Day to Dreaming stories, as well as handy summaries pertaining to the author and  in most cases the illustrator. As a planning tool it really does enable the embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content into everyday teaching. For parents it provides easy access to a range of exciting Titles that reflect contemporary Australian society.

The day after I reviewed the site I made recommendations that every pre-service teacher at our University be provided with information such that they could access the material. First class and congratulations to NCACL for providing such a practical tool.’

Robert Somerville is a Martu Aboriginal man from WA, an educator and academic.

Dr Carmel Richardson, Director, Wiradjuri Preschool Child Care Centre

‘..I’ve just spent a very happy hour or so totally immersed in this new literacy resource for early childhood educators. I’ve only looked at two randomly selected books so far, but I was compelled to look at all the educator resources linked to each of these. These ranged from videos, news articles and author websites and each added layers of understanding to the content of the children’s picture books I viewed. I know we will use this resource often to support us in using our own small library of Indigenous children’s books. We’ll also use it when searching for new resources to complement our library. The depth and range of linked resources is such a highlight and I know it will be well used to support curriculum planning in early years settings. Early childhood educators are eager to include Indigenous perspectives in their curriculum planning but often feel under-equipped to know where to start. I know this resource will be warmly welcomed in the sector. From my personal perspective, I feel I’ve already learnt more about connection to country after reading several of the links to Lorrayne Gorey’s, Alkngarrileme = Warnings

Congratulations to everyone involved in creating this valuable resource. I’ll certainly recommend it to my undergraduate students and we will assuredly be using here at Wiradjuri Preschool Child Care Centre. With warmest wishes and deepest gratitude for this wonderful project.’

Dr Helen Adam, School of Education, Edith Cowan University

‘Congratulations to the NCACL on the launching of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Resource. This resource gives educators, parents, carers and anyone who works with children such a valuable resource through which they can freely find the richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s literature along with teaching and information resources.

This resource will be invaluable to my own research into cultural diversity in children’s literature and to that of the pre-service teachers in my university classes and, ultimately, the children at the heart of all we do as educators.

The importance of all children being able to see in books reflections of themselves, their own culture and those of others who may be different to themselves cannot be understated. This resource brings together 300 books which can give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and children from all cultural backgrounds opportunities to develop understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

This is a very exciting and timely release given the recently announced National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Showcasing and supporting the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s literature through this resource can be a powerful way to assist in working toward the targets of Closing the Gap.’

Ros Moriarty, business owner, social investor and author

‘It’s an honour to have my early years picture books listed with the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature. There is so much collaboration going on between authors and illustrators – in my case Balarinji – to bring a deeply Indigenous perspective to stories like mine of Australia’s natural world. Knowing where to find such books offers a bridge of understanding to everyone involved with children and reading. With a global spotlight on the value of diversity, and so much aspiration for reconciliation with Indigenous Australians, this database will point us all to books that introduce even our youngest readers to a formative experience of race. Timing could not be better for this rigorous, comprehensive and user-friendly resource. Congratulations to Belle and everyone involved.’

Kids’ Book Review: 
News: National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature New Free Resource Announcement

25 July 2020

Molly Rhodin
Director at Down to Earth Practical Solutions

From Molly Rhodin Early Childhood Director, Teacher and Consultant:

“The NCACL has provided a much anticipated resource that respectfully advocates for thought-provoking literature experiences for children, and advocating and showcasing the diversity and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. This invaluable resource, connects deeply grounded learning elements in an easy and very practical way to navigate.

After 30+ years in the early learning profession, I am so glad this resource has come to fruition in my lifetime. This resource enables anyone to access a comprehensive and functional database to enrich the lives of children, families, teacher and our community”

From Janine Jol (Early Childhood Educator)

“The NCACL is such an amazing resource for teachers and schools. The database of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s literature supports the diverse learning of children today as well as our amazing Indigenous writers and artists. Current and Ancient stories to cater to all ages”