Call for artists to illustrate Njernda’s children’s book

Creative Collaboration: Sharyn Kelly, Njernda Foster Care Recruitment and Assessment Officer, and collaborator Karen Lee Mills are calling for any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artists who can help illustrate their new book of children’s stories. Photo by contribution

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from the Echuca-Moama region are invited to express their interest in being commissioned to create artwork with an important message to convey in a new children’s storybook.

Written by Njernda Aboriginal Corporation staff member Sharyn Kelly and collaborator Karen Lee Mills, the story follows the journey of eight-year-old Billy Turtle, who must leave his country on the Murray River to go to foster care. in the city, when his nan falls ill.

Ms Kelly, a recruitment and assessment officer with Njernda Foster Care, said conveying the importance of cultural connections for First Nations children in need of foster care was the inspiration of the book.

“Once it is determined that a child will be placed in foster care, our goal is always for the child to remain in the country, with its crowd and in an environment that is familiar to it,” he said. she declared.

“But the sad reality is that if we cannot meet the care needs in our local community, children sometimes have to be placed elsewhere, which only increases their confusion, uncertainty and trauma.

“Our hope is to create a resource to highlight why fostering is important in our local community.”

Ms Kelly said the Njernda Foster Care program was a culturally appropriate service that helped caregivers care for First Nations children and youth while maintaining cultural identity and cultural safety.

“We accept caregivers from all kinds of backgrounds, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, male and female, single and family – our program is completely focused on what is best for each child in our care,” she said. .

“We have wonderful Indigenous caregivers and families, but we also have non-Indigenous caregivers who believe, like us, that when care is needed, our local community is the best place and delivers the best outcomes.

“We hope to create a much larger network of people in our community who are committed to caring for others. The more people who understand the importance of keeping our children in their country and all the benefits it brings, the more we hope people will raise their hands.

All artwork submissions will be judged by a Njernda jury who will make the final decision on which artist will illustrate the book.

To register your interest, email Sharyn Kelly at [email protected] or call him for more information on 0419 613 974.

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