NAIDOC Week: First Nations author Auntie Rhonda Collard-Spratt inspired by her grandkids’ bullying for a new book

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Artist and author Auntie Rhonda Collard-Spratt was heartbroken to discover her grandchildren were being bullied.

So she created a new children’s book, Bobtail’s friendto teach about the effects of bullying in a way young people can understand.

See Auntie Rhonda’s interview with Weekend Sunrise in the video above

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With NAIDOC week beginning in 2022, the book is being promoted as a message of tolerance and reconciliation.

The book is the sequel to Grandfather Emureleased in 2021, and the second book in the The spirit of the dream series.

“This book has been a very moving journey to tell people what it’s like to be bullied,” Aunt Rhonda said. weekend sunrise.

Illustrations from Bobtail’s Friend. Credit: Boolarong Press

“Because words can hurt your heart and mind…a wound to your body may heal and the scar disappears, but a wound to your heart or mind may never heal.

“So this is such an important story for everyone in Australia because these effects can last a lifetime.”

Whereas Bobtail’s friend has a strong First Nations connection, Aunt Rhonda says the theme is suitable for everyone.

“The story is universal to all cultures because it carries such a beautiful message,” she said.

“We are all human”

As a survivor of Stolen Generations and a strong Yamatji-Noongar woman, Auntie Rhonda described having racial slurs used against her grandchildren as “soul destroying”.

“It’s devastating – they didn’t want to go to school, they were crying.

“It’s not fair because we’re all human,” she said.

The cover of Auntie Rhonda’s Bobtail’s Friend book. Credit: Boolarong Press

“Hate is not born, it is learned…so as adults we have to be careful how we act and the words we speak.”

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, which provides books and reading instruction to more than 400 remote Indigenous communities.

The book is available now from all good booksellers or online here.

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