New Nyoongar Storybook
A new Aboriginal children’s storybook has been released to celebrate Kings Park’s significant Nyoongar connection.
Chunyart and the Cheeky Parrot was officially launched on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 by Minister for Environment; Heritage Hon. Albert Jacob, who described it as a wonderful story that would be loved by parents, grandparents and children alike.
Written by Nyoongar man and Kings Park cadet Alton Walley, it tells the story of a young boy’s first hunting trip and the mischief he finds on his journey to Moora Katta (Kings Park). Readers follow the journey of Chunyart as he learns the importance of responsibility, Nyoongar culture and family in order to become a man.
Kings Park spokesperson Marcelle Broderick said the Kings Park Education team had embraced the story by creating a popular new curriculum-linked program for school children to complement the book.
‘Despite the rich storytelling tradition of Aboriginal people, there are few contemporary books that tell the story of the Wadjuk Nyoongar people of the south-west region of Western Australia. This book gives voice to the sense of connection to this land that Nyoongar people have called home for thousands of years.’
Miles Franklin Literary Award Winner, Professor Kim Scott, described the book as beautifully illustrated and educational.
‘Alton Walley’s story invites us into a Nyoongar world where we join a boy as he expands his sense of self and home, and so begins his journey toward maturity.’
Chunyart and the Cheeky Parrot is Alton Walley’s first book. A 22 year old Nyoongar man from the south-west of Western Australia, with family connections to the Whadjuk, Balarong, Wardan, Yuat, Pinjareb, Liman and Yamatji people, Alton has been actively involved in all aspects of his culture from a young age. Like the book’s main character Chunyart, Alton’s animal totem is the '28 parrot' (Australian Ringneck), which was given to him at birth.
Chunyart and the Cheeky Parrot is now available for purchase at Aspects of Kings Park gallery shop.
The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority is committed to promoting local Aboriginal culture through its Reconciliation Action Plan, school programs, special events and other visitor services.