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Looking After Country with Fire

Looking After Country with Fire

by Victor Steffensen and Sandra Steffensen
Publication Date: 19/01/2022

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Looking After Country with Fire is a picture book for 5- to 10-year-olds that demonstrates respect for Indigenous knowledge, following the success of Victor Steffensen's bestselling adult book Fire Country.

Mother Nature has a language. If we listen, and read the signs in the land, we can understand it.

For thousands of years, First Nations people have listened and responded to the land and made friends with fire, using this knowledge to encourage plants and seeds to flourish, and creating beautiful places for both animals and people to live.

Join Uncle Kuu as he takes us out on Country and explains cultural burning. Featuring stunning artwork by Sandra Steffensen, this is a powerful and timely story of understanding Australia's ecosystems through Indigenous fire management, and a respectful way forward for future generations to help manage our landscapes.

At the back of the book, you will also find lyrics to a song written by author Victor Steffensen with the same title, 'Looking After Country with Fire'. 

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Victor Steffensen

Victor Steffensen is an Indigenous writer, filmmaker, musician and consultant applying traditional knowledge values in a contemporary context, through workshops and artistic projects. He is a descendant of the Tagalaka people through his mother’s connections from the Gulf Country of north Queensland.

Much of Victor's work over the past 27 years has been based on the arts and reviving traditional knowledge values – particularly traditional burning – through mentoring and leadership, as well as on-ground training with Aboriginal communities and many non-Indigenous Australians. He is also the co-founder of the National Indigenous Fire Workshops, which have so far been hosted in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Victor has also connected with First Nations communities in North America and the Sámi people of Scandinavia, sharing cultural knowledge practices related to caring for country. Victor is regularly interviewed by media regarding Indigenous fire management, including on The Drum, ABC News, Insight and for The Saturday Paper and Dumbo Feather magazine.

Sandra Steffensen

Sandra Steffensen grew up in the small, tropical rainforest village of Kuranda. After then moving to Sydney and living there for 15 years, Sandra moved back to Far North Queensland 13 years ago, lured by her childhood memories and connections to the local landscape. Sandra’s maternal grandmother is from the Tagalaka people from the Gulf Country of north Queensland. She teaches Visual Arts specialising in the practice of ceramics. Sandra uses the sgraffito technique to adorn her functional pieces with intricate illustrations of the local landscapes and the wildlife inhabiting them to remind us of the beauty and the role they play in this world.

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