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Stories of Aboriginal storytellers documented in new book

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Fourteen unique stories celebrating heritage, overcoming tragedy and healing through connecting to country will help keep Australia’s Aboriginal culture alive as part of a new book, launched by the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA (PHAIWA) this week.

The Pilbara edition of the West Australian Indigenous Storybook, released by PHAIWA based at Curtin University, showcases 14 personal stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon. Ben Wyatt, will officially launch the Storybook on Thursday, April 19, at the Karijini Experience held at Karijini National Park.

The book showcases stories ranging from a personal journey that describes the hardships and challenges of studying a degree, to a program that focusses on healing after a tragic loss, and a community-driven garden that brings a small community together, through to large-scale celebrations of Aboriginal heritage and culture.

Dr Melissa Stoneham, PHAIWA’s Director, said the book illustrated how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and projects make a difference to the lives of people and their communities.

“In this project, Aboriginal people are at the centre of every story, sharing their own thoughts and views on a range of diverse range of topics including the biographies of local champions, song and drama productions, cultural tourism, sporting ventures, as well as health and healing messages,” Dr Stoneham said.

“These stories will hopefully encourage a change in how public health projects are planned, delivered and disseminated.

“The stories are drawn from health, child health, education, language, employment, environment, business, sport and the arts. They also showcase community-based programs that could be replicated in other communities to improve or influence the many social determinants of health.”

The West Australian Indigenous Storybook, sponsored by Healthway, will be launched on Thursday April 19 from 10am at the Karijini Experience.

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