Local Aboriginal woman, Dale Roberts has been working with some of the Northern Rivers’ most respected Elders for over two years, recording their stories before they are lost. After consulting further with the Elders it was agreed that a book would produce a lasting legacy celebrating their life stories and passing on valuable knowledge to future generations.The Elders called the book Our Way Stories.
Dale’s interest in creating the book started with listening to the stories of her friend Uncle Magpie.‘I just thought to myself, what a wealth of knowledge he has to share and he wanted to share it so generously. I just wondered if he doesn’t get to pass on his knowledge, where does it go?’ said Dale.‘In my view it is imperative that the stories be recorded from the Elders, to pass on information before they pass over and the stories are lost,’ said Dale.
Arts Northern Rivers came on board to support the project and secured funding from Arts NSW, allowing Dale to spend eight months capturing the Elder’s stories. The support from Arts NSW also included a payment to the Elders – but it wasn’t enough to publish the book.‘We always knew we would need to find another funding source to take the project to its final phase – the print production of a quality book,’ said Arts Northern Rivers CEO Peter Wood.
On 3 May The Elders Book Project crowdfunding campaign will launch on Pozible to cover the $13500 printing and publication costs of the 120-page large format book. Pending a successful campaign the book will be launched, with many of the Elders present, at the 2016 Byron Writers Festival. Peter Wood says ‘While this is our first foray into the world of crowdfunding we think we have a compelling project that will resonate with the wider community. ‘The opportunity to support a project that celebrates the lives of our much-loved Elders is a gesture we hope people won’t be able to say no to’.
You can support The Elders Book Project or pre-purchase a copy of Our Way Stories at http://pozible.com/eldersbook from May 3.
Photo Credit – Kate Holmes
Uncle Athol Compton
Uncle Artie Williams
Aunty Dorothy Gordon
Aunty Gwen Williams
Aunty Marge Close
Aunty Marie Delbridge
Uncle Mick Ryan
Aunty Viv Laurie
Uncle Pop Harry Walker