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Reading Australia & Magabala Books Indigenous stories for Australian school children

  • Written by Sophie Rosenthall

What do a fox, a magpie, a lizard and a boy have in common? They are all featured in the new primary school teacher resources created for four stories by Aboriginal authors and illustrators on Reading Australia.

Reading Australia and WA Indigenous Publisher Magabala Books have just released the new resources to bring the work of Indigenous authors and illustrators into classrooms around the country.

The Copyright Agency’s CEO Adam Suckling says “Indigenous Australian stories are an absolutely core part of Australia’s national creative landscape and are an important curriculum priority for teachers. In all, 15 resources are being developed by the Copyright Agency’s Reading Australia and publisher Magabala Books with a $33,550 grant from our Cultural Fund.”
 
The four titles with resources currently available for free use by teachers on the Reading Australia website are:

1. Once There Was a Boy, written and illustrated by Dub Leffler (Year 3)
2. The Lizard Gang, written by Kirra Somerville and illustrated by Grace Fielding (Foundation)
3. Mad Magpie, written and illustrated by Gregg Driese (Year 2)
4. Fox a Dog, written by Bruce Pascoe (Year 6)

The not-for-profit Reading Australia website provides detailed, practical and user-friendly guides for teachers contemplating using the texts. All Reading Australia resources are freely available and written by teachers for teachers.

Magabala Books Chairperson, Edie Wright, says, “Teachers across the country have always been enthusiastic about incorporating Indigenous stories in the classroom. However, teachers often lacked the confidence to do so, feeling they don’t have enough understanding of history and context.

“As a leading publisher of Indigenous stories we know many of Australia’s finest authors and illustrators are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and we want to make it easy for teachers to access and use books by Australian Indigenous storytellers.  This partnership and the wonderful resources being created will see more of their uniquely Australian stories in hands of school children across the country.”
 
Mr Suckling adds, “Australian stories are the backbone of Australia’s creative national identity. Reading Australia along with Magabala Books would love to see this program expanded into high schools and incorporated into the national and state curriculum lists.”

To receive access to resources, essays, monthly updates, book news and competitions, teachers can visit Reading Australia’s website – www.readingaustralia.com.au/register – and register for free!

About the Copyright Agency | Viscopy

The Copyright Agency connects users and creators of content, providing licences for the use of copyright material such as text, images, art and survey plans. We manage the educational and government licences for the use of text and images, as well as the resale royalty scheme for artists (by Government appointment). Our members include writers, artists, surveyors and publishers. Membership is free. www.copyright.com.au