Magabala Books Cultural Fund

Ninu Grandmothers' Law

Magabala’s most recent Cultural Fund title: Ninu: Grandmothers' Law

Why the Magabala Books Cultural Fund?

The Cultural Fund supports Magabala Books to:

  • publish old and new cultural classics;
  • support manuscript development:
    • assisting communities to record significant stories with elders;
    • supporting communities to carry out intergenerational cultural projects with a publication outcome (like Our World: Bardi Jaawi, Life at Ardiyooloon); and
    • commission strategic titles: stories that need to be told by Indigenous people.

Our books reveal the diversity of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ stories.
We receive manuscripts of great value to present and future generations. However, they may not have mainstream commercial appeal and therefore do not meet the economic criteria for inclusion in Magabala Books’ core publishing program. But some stories are invaluable, and these are the stories we will publish from the Cultural Fund. 

Examples of what the Cultural Fund has achieved so far:

Yorro Yorro by David Mowaljarlai and Jutta Malnic, first published 1993: new digital files and reprinted 2015. Mowarljarlai was a visionary. His notion of two-way thinking is as authentic and provocative and relevant as ever.’ Tim Winton

Two Sisters by Bent, Chuguna, Lowe and Richards: new edition published 2016 (previously out of print). A powerful insight into the experience of people who walked out of the desert in the 1960s into a new world. Jukuna’s story may be the first autobiography written in an Aboriginal language (Walmajarri) and translated into English.

Ninu: Grandmothers’ Law, the extraordinary autobiography of central desert Law woman Nura Ward, published in 2018.

The impacts flowing from Magabala Books Cultural Fund: 

  • Magabala Books will support Indigenous people to pass on their culture, history or story. 
  • Ensures Indigenous voices are represented in the canon of Australian literature.
  • Stories and books of national or cultural significance are available.
  • Storytellers, writers, artists and illustrators are helped economically to bring their story to the world. 
  • Important works stay in print and are available to be used for research and educational purposes.

Who will benefit?

  • Australians in general through publishing and promoting a body of Indigenous literature, including important cultural and historical stories which need to be told.
  • Indigenous creators can generate income from royalties, rights, and from commissions.
  • Indigenous families, communities and individuals have a permanent written record of significant stories.
  • Indigenous people who experience a sense of pride and wellbeing arising from the recording and publication of their stories.
  • Libraries, research institutions, schools and other learning centres will have better access to significant and important cultural tools for educational purposes.
  • You too can benefit. Knowing that your generosity has enabled Magabala to continue to ‘spread the seeds of culture’ across Australia. You, your family trust, or your business can benefit by being recognised in publications, depending on the level of your contribution.

What donations to the Cultural Fund can do:

  • Pay copyright fees for use of archival photos: $100
  • Reprint an exceptional title: $1,500-$4,500 secures a reprint of 500-1000 books
  • Record and transcribe an oral history over six months: $5,000 - $15,000
  • Digitise and republish an important old title: $10,000
  • Edit, design and print an exceptional new story: $25,000

Give Now

More information: Phone +61 (0) 8 9192 1991 or email

With thanks to:

Creative Partnerships Australia Plus 1 Program