Maningrida children’s book leaps the ditch

More than 250 rural New Zealand children learned about the daily life and language of nine-year-old Patricia, an Aboriginal girl growing up in Maningrida, West Arnhem Land, when their school principal shared a book reading on Facebook.

Kim Gordon, Principal of Bulls School in Manawatu, posted her reading of children’s book, Ngayi Nga-ngeydi Patricia/My name is Patricia on her school community’s Facebook page during lock-down.

The book, written by Bawinanga CEO, Ingrid Stonhill, describes Patricia’s life at Maningrida’s Bottom Camp in both English and Patricia’s first language Kune.

Kune is an ancient and endangered language and was inherited by Patricia from her mother’s family.

The New Zealand audience learned about Patricia’s love of school, long-neck turtles and her favourite meal of mangrove worms and mud mussels, collected from her homeland, Ji-Bena.

You can watch the book reading here: