Adam Goodes’ book shortlisted for new Karajia Award for Children’s Literature

A new children’s literature prize that celebrates books by First Nations authors and illustrators, announced Monday as part of NAIDOC week, aims to shine a light on the stories and stewardship of this country by Indigenous Australians.

Ellie Laing, Adam Goodes and David Hardy, the team that produced Somebody’s Land: Welcome to Our Country.

The shortlist of seven books for the inaugural Karajia Prize for Children’s Literature, launched by the Wilderness Society on Monday, includes the children’s book by former AFL footballer Adam Goodes, Somebody’s Land: welcome to our land, written with Ellie Laing and illustrated by David Hardy. Other shortlisted authors include Sally Morgan and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr for River, and Boori Monty Pryor and Rita Sinclair for The History of the Doctors.

“In the Mirning culture, Karajia is a keeper and teller of stories, some of which date back to the world’s youth,” said Matt Brennan, CEO of the Wilderness Society.

“The main elder of the Mirning people, Uncle Bunna Lawrie is a Karajia [and a competition judge]. I cannot express my gratitude enough for allowing us to use the word Karajia to name the award,” Brennan said.

The all-Indigenous panel of judges for the new award included Lawrie and the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation’s director of cultural education, Corrina Eccles, as well as Corey Tutt, founder of DeadlyScience.

A double page of <i>Somebody’s Land</i> by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, illustrated by David Hardy. =”375″ srcset=”$width_375/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/9ef12d146b247ee128469b19219ea69af90059a4,$width_750/t_resize_width/q_62%2Cf /9ef12d146b247ee128469b19219ea69af90059a4 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

A spread of someone’s land by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, illustrated by David Hardy.Credit:Allen and Unwin

This new prize is in addition to the Wilderness Society’s Environmental Prize for Children’s Literature, which has been in existence for 28 years and attracted more than 85 entries this year.

Story Doctors, shortlisted for the first Karajia Prize for Children's Literature.

Story Doctors, shortlisted for the first Karajia Prize for Children’s Literature.

“Over the past few years, we have noticed that more and more First Nations authored and/or illustrated books were being submitted, which did not always fit the purely natural criteria of our other awards, so we wanted to create an award that would specifically celebrate those stories,” Brennan said.

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