Children key to sustaining culture: Mereki

MEREKI is a well-known Aboriginal artist, songwriter and educator.

Originally from Gunnedah, the mother of three was taken from her family when she was three and grew up with a foster family in the southern suburbs of Sydney.

In primary school she was sexually abused by one of her foster brothers and it was during a counselling session years later that she developed the concept for her first child protection book.

Audrey Owl, the first character she developed, asked the question 'Whoo do you feel safe with?', which soon became a song she sung at her daughter's primary school. From there, Mereki made Casey the Kookaburra who says 'it's k-k-kool to be safe'.

This became a song and then the book which forms part of the Kangaroo Club resources.

As an artist, Mereki illustrated both her characters.

?Emma Cornford.



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