Northern Rivers indigenous elders launch book in Byron
OUR Way Stories, a book celebrating the life stories of indigenous elders from the Northern Rivers, has been launched at the Byron Writers Festival this month.
The book was made possible by the generous donations of 158 people who supported a crowd-funding campaign run by Arts Northern Rivers.
ANR's CEO Peter Wood said the response to the campaign had been extraordinary.
"We've received pledges from our local community, from across Australia and even a few international supporters,” he said.
"Clearly the project has struck a chord with the community.
"Because we have exceeded our target, we have committed to producing volume two of Our Way Stories - ensuring many more of our much-loved elders have a chance to share their wisdom with the world.”
ANR partnered with local indigenous woman Dale Simone Roberts, who was engaged to work alongside the elders to record their stories.
Bangalow photographer Kate Holmes was commissioned to take their portraits.
Among the elders featured in the book, Aunty Dorrie Gordon became the first female indigenous ordained minister in the state; Uncle Athol Compton's interest in culture and language took him to New York to study acting and brought him home to star in films and work for the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association Dance College, while Aunty Gwen Williams became involved in the Aboriginal protest movements of the 1960s and an ambassador for her people at home and abroad.