Book art showcase to celebrate heritage of local Darug peoples

AN iconic Australian word, ‘Cooee’ is one that international visitors instantly recognise as being Australian and it’s now in the title of a book by Darug woman and primary school teacher Jasmine Seymour called, ‘Cooee Mittigar’, meaning ‘Come Here Friend’.

With the book illustrated by Darug artist Leanne Mulgo Watson, Granville Library is hosting a special exhibition of artworks showcasing the process of making the book at a celebration launch from 11am this Thursday, August 4, which is Indigenous Children’s Day.
Jasmine is a descendant of Maria Lock, who was the daughter of Yarramundi, the Boorooberongal elder who had met Governor Phillip on the banks of the Hawkesbury River in 1791.
Maria was the first Aboriginal woman to be educated by the Blacktown Native Institute. She was married to carpenter and convict, Robert Lock and their union resulted in thousands of descendants who can trace their Dharug heritage back to Yarramundi.
“All school children deserve to know the true history of the place in which they live. This book gives a view into how it was, how it is, and how it will always be to Darug people,” Jasmine said.
With Darug language interspersed with English and an extensive glossary throughout, ‘Cooee Mittigar’ presents an important tool for learning, told as a tender story with exquisite illustrations.
“It is a guide to how Darug people read the seasons, knowing when it is time to hunt and time to rest,” Jasmine said.
“It also offers new ways of seeing and reading the lands of the surrounding Sydney region and to know that the Darug mob are still here and still strong.”
To book your place, call 8757 9061.