The Ibis: authoring your own story


“Murray is an ibis who lives at Lake Craigmuir,
but when his nest is burned in a fire,
he finds himself on an adventure around the world.”

The Ibis is a children’s picture book written by the Koorie boys at Mooroopna Secondary College (MSC), published by Kids’ Own Publishing. In its essence The Ibis is a parable of the authors’ lives. The book opens up an opportunity to talk about the realities of homelessness and child removal with kids of all ages.

The Ibis is the cumulative result of a 4-month art-making studio presented by Kids’ Own Publishing artist and local Melbourne potter, Lyndon Sendeckyj. The program included studio workshops by renowned Australian choreographer Jacob Boehme, author and children’s entertainer Ailsa Wild and visual artist Hart Ely-Faulks.

At its heart this Kids’ Own Publishing project was designed to engage the disengaged. The Koorie boys at MSC showed their imagination by writing this collaborative story about loss, friendship and finding your home in the face of true hardship. Each studio session was a cathartic and emotional opportunity for the boys to express themselves and learn a multitude of artistic techniques.

The artwork in the book is beautiful and evocative and has been displayed at Gallery Kaiela, a community owned and run studio gallery in Shepparton, Victoria. The book itself is stocked in stores around Melbourne and is available on the Kids’ Own Publishing website. Royalties from the book go back to the community to help ensure the boys have access to funding to keep them in school and to continue developing their literacy through book making projects.

Join us for The Ibis Launch and the opportunity to create your own 8-page iPad book at Bella Union, Trades Hall on Sunday 21 February, 1pm-2pm. Free, bookings recommended.

Kids’ Own Publishing is a social purpose arts organisation that gives children a voice, facilitates community storytelling and places children directly into the world of books and literacy.