ABORIGINAL elder and storyteller Uncle John Long and his editor Nickitta Sharp will launch their children’s book The Saga of King Waa-gun at Bromelton House on December 16.
The launch will take place at a free family fun day to celebrate the book’s release, featuring a jumping castle, art display and traditional entertainment including dance and music.
Uncle John said the story of Waa-gun was passed to him from his grandfather and father and was a cultural story with a modern twist.
The story follows the journey of Waa-gun, a crow who becomes boastful and arrogant before having to learn a hard lesson.
“We were privileged to grow up around Beaudesert— our parents kept us up in the mountains and we learned how to be connected to nature in body, mind and spirit,” he said.
“I grew up on Hollow Station near Josephville, I was blessed to grow up in that environment.
“I was 15 when I moved from the area to work in Ipswich, I worked in the building industry for many years but I kept my own culture.
“My father used to tell me to listen to his stories, because one say someone would ask me about these things, so I’m glad I did listen, if only with one ear.”
Uncle John said he hoped his books would teach and unite, and that mobs from other areas of Australia would be inspired to share their stories too.
Ms Sharp said the book was an effective way to not only teach children about Aboriginal culture but also to teach them about kindness, responsibility and the importance of all creatures.
“We were lucky enough to get a grant from the Scenic Rim Regional Council, they’ve been very supportive of this project,” she said.
“So this will be the first in a series of about ten books and a way to keep the Aboriginal culture alive.”
Ms Sharp said Uncle John would be happy to sign copies of The Saga of King Waa-gun, which will be on sale for $20 at the book launch.
- This story first appeared on The Beaudesert Times.