NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of First Nations Australians. Sharing and celebrating Indigenous culture in our classrooms is incredibly important and we are so lucky now to have a range of beautiful stories perfect for introducing our young learners to the cultures and histories of First Nations Australians. 💛
These are important books for our students to explore – and not just during NAIDOC Week celebrations. They introduce important concepts that help us understand First Nations Australians’ experiences and develop empathy and understanding around sometimes complex issues about our shared history while continuing to engage our students.
Read on to discover our top books to share with your class during NAIDOC Week.
It would be fair to say that by now, most students would have heard an Acknowledgement To Country at school events or even as part of their morning classroom routine. However, do they really know why we do this and what the words mean?
Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin is a senior elder of the Wurundjeri people, from Victoria. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, she channels her passion for storytelling into describing the ‘welcome words’ traditionally given by Wurundjeri Elders to people who wish to visit their country. Themes of respect are interwoven throughout this book; respect for the land, the animals and the people.
This is a wonderful story that highlights the deep connection First Nations people have to the country on which they live.
Tom Tom is a wonderfully engaging story about the daily life of a young First Nations boy who lives in a remote community in the top end of Australia. It follows the adventures of Tom Tom as he goes to preschool, eats lunch with Granny Annie in the bottom camp, swims in the Lemonade Springs in the afternoon and spends the night with Granny May and grandfather Jo in the top camp. It explores the strong relationship and kinship within the Indigenous family.
Students are bound to be fascinated by this story as Tom Tom partakes in familiar activities such as preschool, swimming and sleepovers within a rich and warming Indigenous community.
You will likely find this story in most school and community libraries. It is a must-read! 💛
The girl had lost her way. She had wandered away from the Mothers, the Aunties and the Grandmothers, from the Fathers and the Uncles and the Grandfathers. Who will show her the way home?
This story is a beautifully illustrated story that follows a young girl who is lost and must survive alone in the desert outback until she finds her way home back to her people’s campfires. This gentle picture story celebrates the protective and healing powers of nature that kept one young girl safe and secure.
Ambelin Kwaymullina is a First Nations Australian writer and illustrator from the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
This story is another wonderful celebration of the First Nations Australian connection to country.
This book is a powerful and engaging way of introducing students to the story of the Stolen Generations. Through parallel stories, this book explores the momentous day the then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to members of the Stolen Generation, alongside a story from long ago (and not so long ago) of an Indigenous child who was taken from their family.
It helps children understand what happened and the grief of all those involved. It also explores the power and importance of saying ‘sorry’.
It is a wonderful book to share with your class during NAIDOC Week. ❤️💛🖤