Magabala Books

Australia’s leading Indigenous publisher Support us

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We work with authors, illustrators, storytellers and communities to produce new editions of older titles, commission new works of significance, carry out intergenerational projects with a publication outcome (like Our World: Bardi Jawi Life at Ardiyooloon) and record Elder’s stories. 
Strategic commissioning is an important aspect of this work, allowing us to:

Our cultural initiatives are made possible thanks to the generosity of individual donors, Trusts and Foundations and project grants. To date, with the support of the Cultural Fund, we have produced new editions of cultural classics like Yorro Yorro: Everything Standing Up Alive, Two Sisters and the Yinti series, and published new of works of cultural significance, including Ninu: Grandmothers' Law.

Ninu: Grandmother’s Law

product-img Melissa Thompson celebrating the launch of 'Ninu: Grandmother's Law'. Photo by Emma Ward, courtesy of NPY Women's Council.

Ninu: Grandmother’s Law

Nura Nungalka Ward was a Yankunytjatjara woman from the Central Desert, born during a time when Central Desert people were leaving their homelands. Nura, who has passed away, was a great storyteller, a matriarch, a strong Law woman and a consummate teacher of dance.

“Her life was so powerful; she was a leader. When I was growing up she used to teach me, and I’ve written those stories in the book.” – Melissa Thompson, niece of the late Nura Ward.

Nura’s story was compiled by the NPY Women’s Council and Ara Irititja over the last eight years of Mrs Wards life and was published by Magabala Books as Ninu Grandmothers’ Law in 2018. Part biography, part customs manual and food guide, part traditional social history, Ninu Grandmothers’ Law is a rare testament to one woman’s advocacy for her family, people and culture. 

Kimberley Art Centre Children’s Picture Book Series

product-img Master painter Shirley Purdie working at Warmun Art Centre. Photo courtesy of Warmun Art Centre.

Kimberley Art Centre Children’s Picture Book Series

This project focuses on developing the skills of Kimberley Aboriginal artists in book illustration and publication. Commencing in 2017, with workshops on children’s book publishing at a range of art centres across the Kimberley, Magabala is now working with 6 individual artists from Kiro Kira Arts in Kalumburu, Waringarri Arts Centre in Kununurra, Mowanjum Arts, Mangkaja Arts in Fitzroy Crossing and Warmun Art Centre to publish a series of children’s picture books telling local Kimberley stories.

The first book in the series will be published in 2020. This project is generously supported by the Kimberley Development Commission through a Regional Grant.

Elder's Stories

product-img Bill Dempsey discusses his life story with Ernie Dingo at the book fundraiser in Perth. Photo by Cole Baxter.

Elder's Stories

It is with sorrow and dismay that we have witnessed the passing of so many Elder's with incredible stories that could have been recorded and widely shared. Through our Cultural Fund, Magabala is committed to supporting projects that capture these significant stories. Current projects include:

- Mr A. Griffiths book project: senior Ngarinyman Law man and artist Alan Griffiths sadly passed away in 2018. Not long before his passing, he had begun recording his life story for publication. With the generous support of the AESOP Foundation, Magabala is supporting the Griffiths family to continue the manuscript development of this significant story.

- The Bill Dempsey Story: former Australian rules footballer Bill Dempsey is currently recording his life story with Steve Hawke, thanks to the generous support of individual donors.

- Uncle Max Harrison: through the support of the Cultural Fund, senior Yuin Elder and Law man, Uncle Max 'Dulumunmun’ Harrison is currently engaged in story development for a book project.

Old Stories New Editions

product-img Original cast perform 'Bran Nue Dae', photo from the 1991 Bran Nue Dae publication.

Old Stories New Editions

We keep a substantial backlist in print and our earliest titles stand strong alongside new releases in the trade. With the support of the Cultural Fund, we produce new editions of culturally significant titles to be enjoyed by the next generation of readers. New-editioning includes redesigning and reformatting in keeping with contemporary publishing developments, giving older titles a new lease of life.

New editions coming soon:

- Bran Nue Dae: A Musical Journey by Jimmy Chi & Kuckles (first published 1991)
- Memoirs from the Corner Country: The Story of May Hunt by Harold Hunt (first published 2006)
- Ngay Janijirr Ngank - This Is My Word by Magdalene Williams (first published 1999)

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