August 4, 2020

Colours of kindness: Launch of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Colouring Book

Hospital stays can sometimes be long and challenging and, at times scary, especially for children.

With this in mind, Narrun Wilip-giin (Aboriginal Support Unit), has developed a colouring book to be provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children during their hospital journey at Northern Health.

The book was launched today on National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Children’s Day, a day on which we celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and the role that culture, family and community play in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.

The book is beautifully illustrated and designed by Aboriginal artist Gary Saunders, a proud Bangerang, Wiradjuri, Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung man, “It contains 20 pages of magnificent Australian animals to colour, pass time and keep our children connected to their culture and to feel supported whilst away from their home,” says Gary.

Karen Bryant, Senior Aboriginal Liaison Officer says, “Narrun Wilip-giin (Aboriginal Support Unit) is very pleased to launch this book on this important day, which will provide a positive influence to children going through a very challenging time in hospital. We hope to make this book available to all children in the future.”

“It meets a key objective of the Aboriginal Support Unit, which is to develop and strengthen Northern Health’s cultural competence by offering ever-improving services for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community,” adds Karen.

Toni Gabelish, Aboriginal Liaison Officer, who was closely associated in the creation of the book says, “As every parent will agree, having a child in hospital can be a difficult experience at the best of times. Hopefully this colouring book will provide entertainment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children having to stay at Northern Health.”

“I commend Karen and Toni for the development of this book,” said Emiliano Zucchi, Director Transcultural & Language Services and Narrun Wilip-giin Aboriginal Support Unit.

“The development of this colouring book exemplifies one of our key values as Northern Health: Kindness. I think sharing culture is one of the greatest acts of kindness. Not only is giving kids in hospital the book an act of kindness, it also demonstrates to the Aboriginal community that we value their culture.”