Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy takes out the Educational Picture or Chapter Book Category at the Educational Publishing Awards.

Welcome to Country, written by Aunty Joy Murphy and stunningly illustrated by Lisa Kennedy, took out the Educational Picture or Chapter Book category (Primary) at the 2017 Educational Publishing Awards held in Melbourne last night.

Written by highly respected senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin alliance, Aunty Joy Wandin Murphy AO, Welcome to Country introduces and gives meaning and explanation within the text to the customs and symbols of Indigenous Australia. With beautiful illustrations by Indigenous artist Lisa Kennedy, Aunty Joy welcomes readers to the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People.

In traditional Aboriginal custom, a Welcome to Country ceremony took place when communities were granted permission to cross boundaries, defined by mountain ranges and waterways, into the country of neighbouring communities. Historically each community had its own way of welcoming to country, and they still do today.

Published in 2016, Welcome to Country has so far both won and been nominated for a slew of awards, and Publisher Maryann Ballantyne is over the moon. Says Ballantyne, “This is the first time a Welcome has ever been published, and it’s a really important and generous book. I’m really proud of it. I’m proud of Aunty Joy and Lisa, and I’m so proud of this book”.

Judges at the awards praised the book for “…offering students an authentic cultural experience from an Indigenous author and illustrator. Beautifully written and illustrated, it is a great starting point for the exploration of Indigenous culture”.

Organised by the Australian Publishers Association, the prestigious annual Educational Publishing Awards reward excellence and innovation in the industry. The event offers colleagues and industry professionals the opportunity to network and celebrate achievements. Awards are judged by a panel of peers, and each year teachers and booksellers vote for the coveted Publisher of the Year award.

Black Dog Books is an award-winning imprint with a reputation for publishing some of Australia's finest writers including Carole Wilkinson, Sue Lawson and Suzy Zail. Through quality non-fiction that kids read with delight - not just for information - critically acclaimed picture books, popular illustrated fiction, and contemporary young adult novels, Black Dog Books are great stories, beautifully told. Black Dog titles show us where Australia has come from and who we are now.

Black Dog Books, led by publisher Maryann Ballantyne, is an imprint of Walker Books Australia.

Last updated on 22/09/17 at 01:25:08
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