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Sharing the story of The Colour Ochre Warrior with Springfield youth

Over 270 students from Spring Mountain State School and Springfield Central State School were treated to a live reading of The Colour Ochre Warrior by First Nations children’s author, Trevor Fourmile.

This reading formed part of a NAIDOC Week cultural workshop, where Trevor guided students through ochre body art activities, demonstrations, language lessons and song.

As a proud Yidinji man, Trevor has authored a handful of children's books designed to educate little ones about the history of the First Australians.

His latest book, The Colour Ochre Warrior, takes readers on a journey to learn about the colourful beauty of Australia’s natural environment. Using poetry and stunning Aboriginal art, his short story allows children to discover all the different colour hues of ochre, and how these colours can help with healing.

“I’m hoping this book is used as a tool, especially for our younger generation, to go out and identify these colours in nature and relate it to how they’re feeling that day,” says Trevor. “This helps them to express their emotions through colours if they can’t use their words.”

 

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Image Credit: Spring Mountain State School

Lendlease has partnered with Trevor and various schools in the Greater Springfield region for the past two years to deliver live readings of his books as an extension of culturally significant commemorations such as NAIDOC Week and National Reconciliation Week. This year was particularly special for students as it was the first time the reading was able to be held in-person after the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

Asher, a student from Spring Mountain State School summarised the engaging and interactive workshop with this testimonial: “I enjoyed all of the Indigenous artefacts that Trevor showed us, my favourite was the cross Boomerang. I learnt how to say different words in Trevor’s Indigenous language. I really loved it!”

Shayna Wells, a Visual Arts Teacher from Springfield Central State School said the students ‘loved’ Trevor’s visit. “Many students said they liked that he brought artefacts with him,” Shayna said. “He had a shield and boomerang and told us about the different ways these items were painted. Trevor shared about his totem and those of his siblings and we explored this idea further in class. Students made links between custodianship and sustainability. They also made connections with our HASS unit, recognising the different approach to the land that came with colonisation.”

 

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Image Credit: Springfield Central State School

At just 22 pages long, The Colour Ochre Warrior is an invaluable learning tool for primary school aged children. To order your own copy, visit the Network Educational Australia website here. To watch a recording of Trevor reading The Colour Ochre Warrior, visit the Springfield Rise Facebook page.