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Kunyi by Kunyi June Anne McInerney | Book review for teachers.

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

Today, I would like to acknowledge the Yuggera people as the Traditional Custodians of the beautiful land I am standing on today. From the mountains to the river, I open my heart and my eyes as I walk this land, listening, learning and caring for Country. I want to extend this respect to Elders; past, present and emerging and to all First Nations peoples reading this post today. We are all remembered here.


* Please know that this post is not sponsored. Each blog post is based on my own experiences, opinions, and what I have been taught, and does not represent all First Nations peoples. Connecting with your local First Nations Community is always the most respectful way for you to embed First Nations content specific to your area.



This blog post is shared with you today as a part of the Wingaru Heal Country Challenge and the focus area of 'Australia's true history'. Remember to head over to the Wingaru Education website to check out all of their incredible and FREE resources for the challenge that you can use time and time again to help you embed First Nations perspectives into your everyday teaching.


© Magabala Books © Kunyi June Anne McInerney


"I was born in Todmorden Station near Oodnadatta in South Australia. My mother was a Yankunytjatjara woman, and she named me Kunyi."
"When I was four years old, I was taken to live with the missionaries at the Oodnadatta Children's Home run by the United Aborigines Mission. They called me 'Anne' and told me to speak English."

Written and illustrated by Kunyi June Anne McInerney, 'to help heal the affected families and provide truth-telling of Australia’s history', is Kunyi; a hard cover First Nations children's book, sharing a story of truth, strength and resilience, through the eyes and real life experiences of 4 year old Kunyi, taken from her mother and placed in the Oodnadatta Children's Home. A perfect children's book for students from year 2 to year 6, exploring the themes of the Stolen Generations, art, First Nations social life and customs, and Yankunytjatjara (Aboriginal language).


Kunyi is a powerfully detailed recount (48 pages in total) of the childhood of Kunyi June Anne McInerney at the Oodnadatta Children's Home, that will give you and your students a pathway and insight into uncovering the; history, trauma and suffering of Australia's First Nations peoples through forced removals, now know as the Stolen Generations, in a way that is gentle and easy enough for students in grades a low as year 2, to understand.


Even though Kunyi is incredibly detailed and measurable in length, it has been delicately divided up into small bite size topics, with chapter styled headings for each, making Kunyi a simple book for you to be able to read in smaller sections for younger grades and larger sections or in full for older grades.


© Magabala Books © Kunyi June Anne McInerney



The incredibly vibrant and captivating illustrations all throughout Kunyi will have your students enthralled in the storyline, making it really easy for your students to picture in their own minds, Kunyi's childhood experiences and compare them to that of their own at a similar age. Each of these powerful illustrations were made specially for Kunyi's, ‘My Paintings Speak for Me’ art exhibition for the Adelaide Migration Museum and are now embedded into fabric of this incredibly important children's book, sharing a truer history. Each artwork is a true testament to Kunyi's amazing talents, as a well renowned and highly accomplished artist and illustrator, making Kunyi such a special teaching resource for teachers and a gift of learning for all students. These artworks are featured all throughout the book and are so complimentary to all of the text that surrounds them.


It is truly such an honour to share Kunyi with you all today and I just know that you will treasure this book as a part of your classroom library and use it as a foundation for teaching Australia's true history in your classroom.



How can you use Kunyi in your classroom?


As with most books from Magabala Books, you can find a FREE full set of teacher notes, which has been so generously complied by Magabala Books to make it super simple for you to use Kunyi in your classroom. These teacher notes are full of lesson ideas that are linked straight to the curriculum and like I said; are free for you to download from the Magabala Books website.



Want to buy Kunyi?

Kunyi is published by Australia's leading First Nations Publishing house Magabala Books. You can purchase Kunyi directly from Magabala Books, which helps support their growth as a not for profit organisation, to share our mob's stories with the world, and to help you to embed First Nations perspectives into your teaching.



Thank you!

I want to take a minute to express how deeply grateful I am to Aunty Kunyi June Anne McInerney and the incredible team at Magabala Books for allowing me to share Kunyi with you today and thank you for continuing to create and share all of your work and talents with us! I would like to extend this thanks and appreciation to acknowledge all of the Ancestors, Elders and Community for passing down the knowledge to; Kunyi and the incredible minds and hands that have blessed this book throughout its creation. It is because of incredible books such as Kunyi that allow students all over Australia to celebrate and gain a deeper understanding of First Nations peoples, histories, languages and cultures and for this I want to say, thank you!


I would also like to thank Aunty Lesley Woodhouse and her deadly as team from Wingaru Education for creating and inviting me to be a part of the Wingaru Heal Country Challenge. It is always an honour to work with you and I am always in awe of the support you provide to teachers on their journey of embedding First Nations perspectives and your resources are just incredible! Thank you.


Your part in our community

I feel so honoured to be able to share all of these incredible resources with you but I also believe it is important for us all to share with each other, to help us grow as teachers and support each other in our individual journeys too. If you found this post helpful, then reach out and share it with a teacher friend or you can share something in the comments to help another member of our incredible teaching community.


Thank you so much for spending this time with me and as always, happy embedding!


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