Yarma gurra dahn gooramay
Hello, Welcome to our gathering.
Written in the Gamilaraay language of the Kamilaroi people alongside English, Hello and welcome is a picture book bursting with joy as readers are welcomed to a celebration of culture, their ancestors and Mother Earth who gives them life.
Gregg Dreise’s illustrations are vibrant and engaging and readers will not only gather more meaning about the Australian Indigenous culture, they will see the joy it brings to the people who take part in Corroborees that celebrate life in Australia.
Illustrations that depict ancestors sit alongside and intertwine illustrations of how the modenr day Kamilaroi people celebrate and thank Father Sky and Mother Earth.
Young school children are drawn taking part on traditional dance in school uniforms alongside those dressed in more traditional ceremony clothing.
Young readers will immediately engage with this book because of its bright colours and use of children within the story. They will see how the Australian Indigenous culture is part of them and that they too can take part in being welcomed, listening to stories from the past and taking part in traditional ceremnoies.
The more the young people of Australia understand about our Indigenous heritage, the more they will see how the land is something we need to care for and engage with more. They will also see how culture and celebrations engage our community and bring people together.
Hello and Welcome is an excellent book for students of older preschool to primary school age and can be used not only for links to Indigenous Australia but also links to Sustainability, Visual arts as well as literacy.
There is a great activity pack online: Hello and Welcome by Gregg Dreise – Penguin Books Australia but you can also add more depth to this through
- Discussing what each double page spread means
- Creating own artwork in the style of Greg Dreise
- Learning words in your own Indigenous language from the area you live in.
- Create a school meeting where you can teach others about living in harmony.
- Revisit your educational place’s ‘Welcome to Country’ and see if it needs to be better worded or explained so that is has more meaning.