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The Koori Mail 27.8.2009

Children in the Newcastle, Lower Hunter and Lake Macquarie areas of NSW are getting an introduction to the local Awabakal language with the launch this month of Lenny and the Big Red Kinan.

The book aimed at kindergarten, primary and pre-school students, was launched by Arwarbukarl Cultural Resource Association (ACRA) in Newcastle.

It follows main character young Lenny as he takes a walk through the bush collecting insects, giving students a chance to learn the Awabakal words for things like stick, centipede and bag.

Eight years in the making, ACRA has already recieved more than 65 orders for the book.

It is part of a growing collective resource kit including colouring book, snap and flash cards, posters, activity book and picture dictionary.

ACRA also provides follow-up, with language worker Jacqui Allen visiting participating schools and helping teaching staff implement and effectively utilise the resources.

She also provides practical assistance in the form of pronounciation of the Awabakal language.

The book is a first in a series of resources planned in order to reclaim, preserve and disseminate the Awabakal traditional language.

ACRA manager Daryn McKenny was excited about what the book would mean to the revival of the Awabakal language and future projects, including other school resources featuring the body and relationships.