Carinity Education Shalom teacher Rita Sinclair has illustrated a children’s book written by award-winning Indigenous author, Boori Monty Pryor.
A former Australian Children’s Laureate, Boori is a First Nations storyteller who has shared his words and wisdom with over one million school children. He is also the co-writer and subject of the Emmy-nominated series, The Wrong Kind of Black.
His latest work is Story Doctors, a children’s book illustrated by Rita which takes readers on a poetic journey of Australia’s true history which celebrates the healing powers of nature and culture.
“Story Doctors is about the history of Australia. It is an invitation to all Australians, no matter where their knowledge is at, to find out the true history of our country,” Rita said.
“Story Doctors invites you to listen and share stories and hopefully in the process, understand each other a little better and start the healing – of yourself, of others, and of our country.”
With Rita in North Queensland and Boori in lockdown in Victoria last year, the pair collaborated on Story Doctors by correspondence, sharing and developing ideas via video link.
“I would get Boori to read a line, talk to me about it and what he was thinking about, and while he talked, I would draw. It was very collaborative, and I think our long history of thousands of hours of conversation definitely helped to understand each other,” Rita said.
Story Doctors is the first full book that Rita has illustrated.
“It has been very well received. There have been lots of really positive reviews from all over Australia and we are already up to our third reprint, even though it was just published in July,” Rita said.
“I like the fact that there is something for all ages in the book and that it can be studied at Prep level, all the way up to university level.”
Rita, whose other creative pursuits include painting ukuleles, recently began teaching at Carinity Education Shalom.
“I’m really looking forward to being part of the Shalom family and community that is very evident in the way the students, teachers and families talk about the school,” she said.
“I hope I can make a difference to the lives of my students and maybe inspire them to find their own form of creativity.”