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When We Go Walkabout
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Rhoda Dugururru Lalara has been a language officer at Groote Eylandt Linguistics for the past 33 years. Rhoda is passionate about the Anindilyakwa language, culture and heritage and uses her literacy expertise to keep this ancient language alive. 'We want our children to hear music and start singing. To hear a story and know where it's come from and where it's travelled,' she says. Before writing her own story, Rhoda worked with many other storytellers in the communities of Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island. 'Some were make believe stories, some real stories, some Dreamtime stories which go from one community to another, stopping at all different places. They connect people together. The stories connect them.' Alfred Lalara was born in 1964. Like his sister-cousin, Rhoda, he is from the Lalara clan and he grew up in the Warnindilyakwa community of Angurugu on Groote Eylandt. One of many talented artists in the Lalara clan, Alfred uses the traditional Groote Eylandt line work, which in the past was used for painting on bark and is now used for works on canvas and paper. Alfred usually works collaboratively with his wife, Alice Durilla, who did the raak cross-hatching on the illustrations in Yirruwa Yirrilikenuma-langwa.

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