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Wilam. A Birrarung Story

2020 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

‘Wilam’, meaning ‘home’, is a word from Woiwurrung language and is the culmination of this story of a journey along the winding banks of Birrarung (Melbourne’s Yarra River). Bunjil (the wedge tailed eagle) commences the narrative journey at the mountains, Birrarung’s source. As the river winds down and around, so too does the teeming wildlife, creatures great and small living in harmony with the river and humanity. As it makes its way to the sea, the river’s journey through Melbourne city and suburbs is both recognisable and memorable.

The breathtaking illustrations employ rich, bold colours to show the joys of home and life. The natural beauty of the river landscape is presented in a detailed tapestry of fauna and patterns. The writing is poetic, with Woiwurrung language seamlessly incorporated throughout and supported by a partly visual glossary at the end.