In 2017, women from the small community of Binjari, 20km west of Katherine, embarked on the Binjari Buk project. Collaborating with linguist Denise Angelo and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF), the project produced nine Kriol publications. The books were cleverly designed for different audiences: three board books for pre-primary children, three picture books for early primary children and three short chapter books for older children.
With the help of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, the project went on to provide to copies of the books throughout Kriol speaking areas. One of the books, Moli Det Bigibigi, is also now available commercially from ILF and in bookstores and was selected for the Australian Reading Hour in 2019 (which you can read more about here). The full list of Binjari Buk is:
- Ola namba en kala (Numbers and Colours, by Bernadine Booth)
- Olkainawan kalawan loli (Lollies of Different Colours, by Milly Raymond)
- Yakai! Beibigel! (Oh No! Baby Girl!, by Maureen Hodgson)
- Moli det bigibigi (Molly the Pig, by Karen Manbulloo)
- Tudei en longtaim (Now and Then, by Stella Raymond)
- Fishing—lenimbat ola biginini (Fishing—Teaching Children, by Marilyn Frith)
- Roki det kenggurru (Rocky the Kangaroo, by Maureen Hodgson)
- Hanting gada biliken (Hunting with Billycans, by Maureen Hodgson)
- Hanting gada trekta en treila (Hunting with a Tractor and Trailer, by Maureen Hodgson)
Indigenous Literacy Foundation do a great job and gift these books to community organisations, parent groups, childcare and schools in Kriol speaking areas. They also kindly donated copies to Meigim Kriol Strongbala which we regularly use in our training and education programs in Ngukurr and we can confirm that they are a hit! Contact ILF to find out more about placing an order at https://www.
- Teacher’s notes for Moli Det Bigibigi: https://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/site/user-assets/docs/WhyisMoliWritteninKriol_Final.pdf
- Article: Binjari Buk launch (ILF website): https://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/news-events/binjari-buks-launched
- Article: ‘Speak their language: reflecting on the ILF Binjari Buks project’ (Books + Publishing website): https://www.booksandpublishing.com.au/articles/2018/01/17/100158/speak-their-language-reflecting-on-the-ilf-binjari-buks-project/
- Article: ‘Binjari Book buzz: Kriol stories shared in community’ (NITV website): https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2017/12/19/binjari-book-buzz-kriol-stories-shared-community
Thank you to Denise Angelo for help with this article.