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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

New story book gives Indigenous perspective on Aussie Rules

Date posted: 17 April 2012

An Indigenous Victorian author has launched a children's book about the origins of Australian Rules Football.

Marngrook: the long ago story of Aussie Rules was launched in Horsham in Victoria's Wimmera this week.

This is the first book for traditional owner Titta Secombe, a Gunditj-Mara woman, who was born in Horsham and has lived there and in the Grampians her whole life.

Her book, which is illustrated by Grace Fielding, tells the story of how Australian Rules Football came about. It narrates how Australian Rules developed from Marngrook, a ball game played by Aboriginal people more than 150 years ago in north-western Victoria.

The book is set in the Grampians and based on a story that Secombe has been listening to since she was a child.

This fictionalised story of Marngrook takes place in the Grampians region at the foot of Duwul, the highest mountain in the region and home to the Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali clans.

The story begins when the clan elder Wawi notices that his son Jaar and other children only have old toys to play with, so he goes for a walk to see what he can find. He comes across a ring-tailed possum and has an idea. He kills it, skins it, stuffs it with emu feathers, moulds it into the shape of an emu egg and sews it up with a tendon from a kangaroo tail, creating a ball that the children can play with.

Marngrook: the long ago story of Aussie Rules is available from Magabala Books (see link below).

Source: ABC Open Wimmera


Last updated: 20 April 2012
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