Werte, my name is Shirley Kngwarraye Turner. I am from Anapipe, Sandy Bore Outstation, which is about 85km northeast of Mparntwe, Alice Springs. I am Central Arrernte woman and a mother of four children and three grannies. I come from strong families who respect Country and culture. I am youngest in my family; I’ve got six siblings who all have families of their own. We all grew up knowing McGraths Dam, a special place where we used to go out and stay with our parents and grandparents when they were taking us back to country.
I wrote this book because Althateme, McGraths Dam is our apmere, the place we all call home. It’s important to all our families, and to the history of Land Rights. I also wrote it because I really enjoy poetry and other creative writing.
About Children’s Ground
Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe (Children’s Ground) is a First Nations (FN) owned Organisation that works in Central Australia and the Top End. We commenced in Central Australia in 2016. In Central Australia, Children’s Ground is known as Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe and works across five different locations and family groups. The Children’s Ground Approach includes place-based delivery of integrated services in communities across five areas: intergenerational learning, family health, employment, culture/creative arts and community development and wellbeing.
For the past six years First Nations writers, artists and educators at Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe have been creating vibrant children’s books in local languages: Anwerne Ingkerrekele Mpwareke: By Us, For Us. “Anwerne pipe intelheme ayeye anwernekenhe akerte, angkentye anwerne kenhe rlterrke atnyernetyeke anwernekenhe atweye mapeke”. We have been writing and illustrating our own stories, to keep our language and art strong for our families. We want our kids to grow up with books that reflect our cultural wealth and knowledge, handed down to us over many thousands of years by our ancestors. These books help them learn to respect, speak, read and write their First Language – something that was denied to many of us and our elders in the past.