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The Dunggiirr Brothers and the Caring Song of the Whale - Shaa Smith

The Dunggiirr Brothers and the Caring Song of the Whale

By: Shaa Smith, Neeyan Smith

Hardcover | 1 March 2022

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The Dunggiirr Brothers and the Caring Song of the Whale is both a beautiful picture book and a special resource that will connect children to the landscape of the mid-north NSW coast, as well as to the unique stories of the Gumbaynggirr people.

Welcome to Ngambaa Country on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. I am Aunty Shaa and this is the story of the Koala Brothers, the Dunggiirr Brothers. This is the story of our Country. We live the story of being saved by Dunggiirr and we do a ceremony to keep it alive. It is this story and memory we share with you in this book.

This stunning picture book from the Yandaarra Caring for Country community group, a project led by Gumbaynggirr elder Aunty Shaa Smith, in association with the University of Newcastle, helps us learn the stories of the mid-north NSW coast. The Dunggiirr Brothers and the Caring Song of the Whale also spreads a welcome and beautiful message of care and understanding to the wider community.

About the Authors

Aunty Shaa Smith is a Gumbaynggirr woman and story holder for her Country. Her mother is Gumbaynggirr and her father Bundjalung. Aunty Shaa is an artist, cultural facilitator and Aunty to many. Led by the Old Fellas and Country itself, Aunty Shaa's work shares the deep relevance of Gumbaynggirr Dreaming for today. She is the co-founder of Gumbaynggirr Jagun, sits on the Board of Directors as Chairperson and is lead cultural facilitator. Aunty Shaa also leads Yandaarra, a research collaboration with the University of Newcastle on Gumbaynggirr Country.

In Gumbaynggirr language, Yandaarra means 'to shift camp together'. Yandaarra is a collaboration led by Aunty Shaa Smith under the guidance of the Old Fellas and Gumbaynggirr Country, with Uncle Bud Marshall and Aunty Shaa's daughter Neeyan Smith. Yandaarra includes non-Gumbaynggirr academics Sarah Wright, Lara Daley and Paul Hodge from the University of Newcastle, sitting on Awabakal and Worimi Countries.

As Yandaarra, they walk together, shift camp together, and live and work in, with and as Country. Yandaarra, the research project, is a re-creation story. It's about remembering what was (what is) as part of this re-creating. This work is about honouring Elders and custodians past, present and future. Yandaarra have held workshops, yarned together, planted trees, gathered food, laughed and shared. When they look to how to shift camp - or shift their practices, relationships and ways of thinking about the land - using Gumbaynggirr Dreaming and Protocols is key.
Industry Reviews
'The narrative weaves a traditional story of a travelling whale into themes around contemporary relationships with each other and the natural world. It beautifully illustrates the continuing Koori connection to community and family.' NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Judges' comments 
'This picture book highlights the importance of respecting and nurturing Country for all Australians.' Magpies

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