Children’s book launch – follow Jay, a boy living with autism, in this book created by and for the Noongar community in collaboration with Rocky Bay.
Left to right (above): Daniel, Bethany, Peter, Evelyn, Seantelle and Wendy celebrate the launch.
Rocky Bay’s ‘Finding Different Ways’ (FDW) project culminated yesterday with the launch of a new children’s book aimed at raising awareness of disability and autism in the local community. It is hoped that Visiting My Mob (Koorliny Djinanginy Moort) will give people an insight into what it can be like living with autism and doing everyday activities. It aims to give some practical suggestions of how to support individuals and consider their individual needs. It also allows all community members to learn some Noongar words and phrases.
Whilst there are similar resources in other states and territories, there were no locally produced resources using the Noongar language to increase awareness of disability. Evelyn McKay, Coordinator of Be My Koorda support group, advocated for the development of this colourful and engaging children’s book – Visiting My Mob (Koorliny Djinanginy Moort).
Developed in collaboration with the community, it was decided that a short story book about a young boy with autism would be most suitable for families to share with school peers, friends and extended family. The book was produced in collaboration with the Be My Koorda support group, Seantelle Walsh (artist) and Cynthia Garlett (language consultant).
The story itself was developed by Be My Koorda members (parents) and Bethany Cunningham (FDW Project Coordinator), with key elements being translated into Noongar by Mrs Cynthia Garlett. Young members of Be My Koorda drew and painted some of the illustrations for the book during a school holiday activity program. The children will all receive framed copies of their artwork used for the book. The art workshops were facilitated by Seantelle Walsh, a local Noongar artist.
Seantelle used the children’s artwork to produce illustrations for the story and also painted a commissioned artwork for the front cover. This piece will be displayed in a Rocky Bay office. Rocky Bay collated all the text and artwork to create the final book. The project provided a great opportunity for collaboration between Rocky Bay and the wider community and Rocky Bay thanks all of those who contributed to the many aspects of the book.
The book will be shared by services and community members throughout Perth and regional areas. It is also available on request from [email protected]
Click on the image below to download a copy.
Evelyn McKay also worked with Rocky Bay to develop of a number of posters during the Finding Different Ways project, which also included the creation of soundbites, Noongar radio broadcasts, flyers and magnets. Wendy Wright of First Peoples’ Disability Network has also been a valuable supporter of the project.