Five-book series, Welcome to Our Country, connects children, parents and educators with First Nations history

Welcome to Our Country, a five-book series designed to connect young children, parents and educators with First Nations history and culture has been announced this month, authored by Adam Goodes and Ellie Laing, with illustrations by David Hardy.

After a phenomenal start to the series with Somebody’s Land launched in late 2021, Ceremony now invites the reader to celebrate the rich traditions of dance, family, community and caring for Country from the world’s oldest continuous culture.

This joyful story also features words from Adam’s language group, Adnyamthanha, woven throughout the story – alongside a visual glossary and QR code to a reading by Adam and Ellie.


Five-book series Welcome to Our Country

Welcome to Our Country is a collaboration between Adnyamathanha and Narungga man Adam Goodes (former Australian Rules footballer, Australian of the Year in 2014 and co-founder of the GO Foundation), political advisor and former journalist Ellie Laing, and Barkindji illustrator David Hardy.

Together, the creators hope the series will be an invaluable tool for children, parents and educators to start conversations and better understand our shared history.

somebodys land adam goodes ellie laing

‘This book is a reflection of me. I’m incredibly hopeful. I choose to be positive, to help us heal as a nation.’ Adam Goodes said Somebody’s Land, the first book in the series, which debuted #2 in the picture book market across Australia and sold over 3000 copies in the first week.

Somebody’s Land begins the series by introducing readers to the term ‘terra nullius’, a Latin term meaning ‘nobody’s land’ – applied to the colonisation of Australia by white settlers. The book invites children and their families to imagine themselves into Australia’s past, to feel the richness of our First Nations’ history, and to acknowledge that our country was never terra nullius.

‘Ellie and I saw an opportunity to create something we could be very proud of – a resource for parents and their younger children around Indigenous culture. As a new father, with my daughter now approaching the age where she will start school, I’m so proud to be publishing a series of books about Australia’s Indigenous history.’

Co-author, Ellie Lang said

‘When my eldest son came home singing Indigenous lullabies and reciting an Acknowledgement of Country, I was so moved – I wanted to continue the conversation with him, to learn more and to ask questions.

‘We would love this series to become a conversation starter for people young and old, to understand the importance of acknowledging Country, the truth about Australia’s history, and the rich culture of the traditional custodians of the land we live in.’

Somebody’s Land and the other books in the Welcome to Our Country series offer an opportunity to open up the conversation, to help all families talk about Australia’s First Nations history accurately, creatively and beautifully.

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