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Indigenous stories that mirror Newman children’s lives told in Our Yarning project

A series of children’s stories written by four Indigenous women have been published in the Library for All’s Our Yarning digital library, sharing stories of growing up in Newman.

The national project aims to increase First Nations storytelling in a bid to get more young Indigenous children reading, by publishing books that mirror their lives.

The Library for All Our Yarning is a program by Dr Julie Owen, a Nurrunga and Ngarrendjeri woman and cultural advisor. Last year, she spent some time at the Newman Women’s Shelter (NWS) facilitating writing workshops, from which the Martu Night Patrol’s Olivia Wilson, Andrea Tapera and Rhonda Dalbin and the NWS’s Sylvia Wilson were all chosen to have their stories published.

The Our Yarning digital library features 500 books written by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal children, with the aim of inspiring children to read and develop the vital literacy skills they need to learn and thrive as they grow older.

NWS Chief Executive Officer Arina Aoina said seeing stories from Newman and the Pilbara published through the national project was a proud moment.

“These stories are inspired by memories of growing up as a young person in the Pilbara,” she said.

“They reflect their experiences as Martu and Indigenous people living in the Pilbara and we hope they will inspire young people in Newman to develop a love for reading and learning about their culture.”

Dr Julie Owen spoke to the ABC and said these stories will help young Indigenous people feel represented in literature.

“What we learn as children, we take it with us as adults, but we learn to add to it, we learn experiences through those things, and we learn to share it with our own families,” she told the ABC.

“The diversity is something that children need to be able to read, our books are called ‘mirror books’, so that the books the kids pick up to read, they can see their own lives reflected in the stories.”

The stories “Raft Adventure” by Andrea Tapera, “River Rocks” by Olivia Wilson, “Fire Brigade to the Rescue” by Sylvia Wilson and “Bush Fright” by Rhonda Dalbin, can be read on the free Library for All app, which you can find at

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