Review Blog

Dec 16 2012

Our world: Bardi Jaawi Life at Ardiyooloon. One Arm Point Remote Community School

cover image

Magabala Books, 2010. ISBN 978 1 921248 23 8.
(Age: All) Highly recommended. 2011 Honour book. CBCA Eve Pownall Book of the Year. A sense of community permeates this beautiful book which showcases the indigenous population of One Arm Point, a remote community in north west Western Australia. Each double page shows an aspect of community life, be it hunting, fishing, the school, history, living arrangements or the stories which lie at the heart of the community. Each double page is sumptuously illustrated not only with photos, but drawings, sketches and paintings by the children of the school, maps and diagrams. All through the ability of the community to communicate with each other is stressed as women come into the school to teach, men take the children out hunting and fishing, or practicing survival skills, or tell stories. All of the community is involved with the school and each member contributes something to the education of the students in keeping alive their customs and traditions, but also making sure they can survive in Australia's modern world.
Looking to the sea for their survival sees many pages of interest about what can be found in the sea, large photos of the beaches glitter the pages and diagrams of the catch from the sea explained. The six northern Australian seasons are discussed in some detail, and so all readers are aware of just how different this place is from the rest of Australia.
A glossary, with a guide to the pronunciation of local words, a kinship chart, outline of the seasons all help to celebrate and showcase this amazing community.
Fran Knight

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