A joyful celebration of family and culture, the Welcome to Our Country series introduces First Nations history to children. From Australian of the Year Adam Goodes, co-writer Ellie Laing, and Barkindji illustrator David Hardy.
Adam Goodes is an Adnyamathanha and Narungga man and community leader. He is a former Australian Rules Footballer, having achieved the greatest heights in the game, and was named Australian of the Year in 2014 for his public work in the fight against racism and his advocacy in First Nations affairs. Together with his cousin Michael O'Loughlin, Adam founded the GO Foundation, which supports and inspires the next generation of First Nations leaders. With a diploma in Aboriginal Studies and his own daughter approaching preschool age, Adam was motivated to publish a series of books for young children and families about Australia's First Nations history.
Ellie Laing (nee Southwood) is a communications professional, and former political advisor and journalist, who lives on the lands of the Cammeraygal people on the northern beaches of Sydney with her husband and two sons. When Ellie's eldest son Harvey came home from preschool reciting Acknowledgements of Country and singing Aboriginal lullabies, she was inspired to collaborate with Adam Goodes on a series of books aimed at helping families with young children to talk about Australia's First Nations history. She has recently completed studies in Traditional Aboriginal Cultures.
David Hardy is a Barkindji man, author and artist with more than eight years of animation experience with Walt Disney Animation Studios. Married with two children, he is currently a Senior Gaming Illustrator/Animation Manager for Lightning Box Games. David has worked on twelve animated feature films, including The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata and Return to Neverland. His books for children include Alfie's Search for Destiny and Alfie's Big Wish, On the Way to Nana's (written by Frances and Lindsay Haji-Ali), The Proud Foots 1: Shaka Shaka Hawaii (written by Lucas Proudfoot) and Aussie Kids: Meet Zoe and Zac at the Zoo (written by Belinda Murrell).