Black Cockatoo is a vignette that follows Mia, a young Aboriginal girl as she explores the fragile connections of family and culture. Mia is a 13-year-old girl from a remote community in the Kimberley. She is saddened by the loss of her brother as he distances himself from the family. She feels powerless to change the things she sees around her, until one day she rescues her totem animal, the dirran black cockatoo, and soon discovers her own inner strength. A wonderful small tale on the power of standing up for yourself, culture and ever-present family ties.
Carl Merrison is a Jaru/Kija man from Halls Creek in the Kimberleys in Western Australia. Carl loves spending time out bush with his family; fishing, hunting and swimming in waterholes. He loves AFL- working with the Clontarf Foundation and coaching junior and senior, male and female football teams. Carl was awarded State Finalist of the Australian of the Year Award- Local Hero for Western Australia in 2016 for his work as lifeguard, football coach, Clontarf worker and youth mentor.
Hakea Hustler loves to write, draw, read and spend time with family, when she is not adventuring around Australia. She has lived and worked all over the country: in Geelong, Pinjarra, Mandurah, Halls Creek and Byron Bay and has worked as a teacher and Head of Department. She has also spent time volunteering in Areyonga (a remote Aboriginal community just outside of Alice Springs) as a university student.
Magabala Books is Australia’s leading Indigenous publisher.
Black Cockatoo is suited for upper primary and young adult readers and is available from Magabala Books and all leading bookstores. Teachers’ notes are also available.
I worked closely with Carl and Hakea during the writing and manuscript development stages of this book, and supported them into the publishing process.