Last week I was out of the office again, this time I was visiting beautiful Wujal as a part of the Tellin’ Country project.
Wujal Wujal is a small Aboriginal community located near the Bloomfield River in Northern Queensland. To get there I flew from Brisbane to Cairns then jumped in a 4WD and headed north for about 5 hrs. The Tellin’ Country project is an art and animation-focused workshop program that aims to capture stories that reflect the country/place/landscape that participants call home. It also builds digital literary skills.
We work with the Indigenous Knowledge Centre or IKC which is a small library owned, managed and staffed by the local Aboriginal councils. State Library of Queensland funds and facilitates the establishment of these centres, and provides ongoing support through staff training and delivery of programs to sustain knowledge transfer. There are 22 IKCs within Queensland.
Wujal is in the wet tropics and often said it is where the rainforest meets the sea; my two favourite landscapes. It is known the waterfalls are particularly sacred to the local Aboriginal community so it wasn’t surprising that the kids decided to create animations about the falls. During the week we made animations about hunting, fishing and playing basketball. We also had some fictional stories about finding a money tree, a bank robbery and a super cute story about green ants. We try and incorporate as much traditional language (Kuku Yalanji) in the stories as possible.
The Tellin’Country project has been going for the past two years and I have been working in partnership with Indigenous communities in Logan, Stradbroke Island, Woorabinda and Wujal Wujal. Some of the earlier stories have been posted online already (viewable on the SLQ YouTube page) but I will be compiling the best animations for a show reel at the projects completion early next year. I look forward to sharing these with you!