Aboriginal Elders tell their stories

Aunty Gwen Williams by Kate Holmes for Our Way Stories. Image courtesy Arts Northern Rivers.

Aunty Gwen Williams by Kate Holmes for Our Way Stories. Image courtesy Arts Northern Rivers.

Aboriginal woman Dale Roberts has been working with some of the Northern Rivers most respected Elders for over two years, recording their stories before they are lost.

After consulting further with Elders it was agreed that a book would produce a lasting legacy celebrating their life stories and passing on valuable knowledge to future generations.

The Elders called the book Our Way Stories.

After being approached by Dale, Arts Northern Rivers supported the project and secured Aboriginal Strategic Initiative funding from Arts NSW which enabled the arts worker to spend eight months capturing the Elders stories.

Dale’s interest in creating The Elder’s Project started with listening to the stories of her friend Uncle Magpie.

Uncle Magpie by Katie Holmes for Our Way Stories. Image courtesy Arts Northern Rivers.

Uncle Magpie by Katie Holmes for Our Way Stories. Image courtesy Arts Northern Rivers.

‘I just thought to myself, what a wealth of knowledge he has to share and he wanted to share it so generously. I just wondered if he doesn’t get to pass on his knowledge, where does it go?’ said Dale.

Each story has been recorded in both English and Aboriginal language and includes an overview of the Elder’s story and their connection with culture and country in the Northern Rivers region.

On 3 May, Dale launched the next phase of the project via a crowdfunding campaign on Pozible to cover the printing and publication costs. Pending a successful campaign the book will be launched with many of the Elders present at the 2016 Byron Bay Writers Festival.

You can support The Elders Book Project or pre-purchase a copy of Our Way Stories at http://pozi.be/eldersbook


Arts Northern Rivers is the peak body and support agency for arts and cultural development in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. They are part of a statewide network of 14 regional arts development organisations, providing strategic direction for sustainable arts and cultural development for its vibrant region.

They are an independent not for profit organisation, supported by Arts NSW and seven local governments – Ballina, Byron Shire, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed Shire.

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Published: 12 May 2016