Kunyi June Anne McInerney
1 Jun. 2021
*CBCA 2022 Notable Book: Eve Pownall Award*
*Longlisted for the ABIA Book Awards 2022: Small Publishers' Children’s Book of the Year*
Age range 9+
These are my stories from a dry remote place, where growing up was very different for what children know today.
Kunyi June Anne McInerney was just four years old when she and three of her siblings were taken from their family to the Oodnadatta Children’s Home in South Australia in the 1960s.
Through an extraordinary collection of over 60 paintings, accompanied by stories, Kunyi presents a rare chronicle of what life was like for her and the other Children’s Home kids who became her family.
Her paintings are a healing trove of memories that reveal the loneliness, fear and courage of the Stolen Generation children who were torn from family and loved ones. From bible lessons to sucking bone marrow and collecting bush fruits, the escapades, adventures and sorrows of the children are painted with warmth, humour and unflinching honesty.
Kunyi’s story is one of healing and reconciliation. She is telling it so that the lives of the children at Oodnadatta Children’s Home will not be forgotten. This is a collection of tender and honest stories that will educate children on our nation’s history and remind adult readers of the real impact of the Stolen Generations.
InformationBook Type: Junior Non-Fiction
Age Group: 8 years +
Class Novel: No
Good Reads Rating: /5
Literary Rating: /5
Kunyi is the moving and deeply personal story of Kunyi June Anne McKinerney, renowned Indigenous artist.
Incorporating paintings from her ‘My Paintings Speak for Me’ collection, this book tells stories from McKinerney’s life growing up in the Oodnadatta Children’s Home in South Australia.
At a young age, she was taken from her Yankunytjatjara family, and grew up in the Children’s Home along with other children of the Stolen Generation. McKinerney recounts memories of good times and bad, recalling family that came to visit, the games she and the other children used to play, the rituals and activities of their daily lives, and her eventual departure from the Home.
Kunyi’s story is exceptionally powerful and thought-provoking, each recollection ringing with personality and remembrance.
McKinerney’s paintings bring an extra dimension to Kunyi, adding depth and context to her stories and reinforcing that this is a true story, and one that should be both read and taken to heart.
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