The foundation was set up by her widower Archie Roach and it is dedicated to creating opportunities for Aboriginal people through the promotion, celebration and support of Aboriginal arts and culture.
Sadly, Ruby Hunter died in 2010 aged 55, but this collection was her dream and it is beautifully produced in paperback picturebook format, with wonderfully vibrant full colour illustrations by Ruby herself, who, until her visit to Cape York in 1997, had never before been inspired to paint. Her style is naive and a perfect match for the lyrics.
The 15 songs were mostly written during this tour which Ruby and Archie did with their three sons, band and techies to 12 remote communities in Cape York in far north Queensland. ‘The pointy bit’ of Australia as Archie says in the inspirational DVD which is a compilation of footage shot during that tour, showing a vivacious Ruby earning the children’s trust and encouraging them to give her their own words to describe their daily lives.
It is obvious from watching the DVD that Ruby loved interacting with children and on this tour she conducted song writing workshops at local schools, asking the children questions about their lives in these remote communities.
With the children’s help Ruby wrote down songs based on their ideas, using butcher paper, texta or blackboard and chalk. Hence the clever title of the book.
The book, DVD and CD are a beautiful celebration of Ruby Hunter’s life as a singer and song writer, in this case for children, and the DVD has excellent documentary footage that will show Australia’s remote Aboriginal communities to city children in an easily accessible way. The CD has all 15 songs from the book, with Ruby and Archie singing them.
A must-have for every primary school in Australia and beyond.