Our Land, Our Stories
- Cengage Australia
- Cengage Australia Creative Department
- Ingeous Studios
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
Created to provide opportunities for students to engage with the rich, diverse and enduring heritage of Australia’s First Peoples, Our Land, Our Stories is a landmark series exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures. With a modern take on authentic design at the forefront of this curated collection, students embark on a visual and sensory journey through rare and historically important photographs, artwork and audio-visual resources. Published by Cengage and created in partnership with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), it comprises three sets of comprehensive and aesthetic resources for schools.
The resource was born from a conversation and desire for collaboration, its core objective to share authentic stories and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This sentiment was evident from the birth of the name and visual identity. With this strong design foundation, the series developed through the careful custodianship of multiple designers. Design focus was reinterpreted depending on the assets and audience, while keeping true to the considered aesthetic foundation. Ultimately the product suite was answerable to various users and age groups, which required flexibility, and a deliberate design thinking lens to ensure it met differing needs.
With its release, the resource has generated very positive sales, with customers agreeing it addresses a gap in the marketplace. It was recently awarded Outstanding Primary Resource at the Educational Publishing Awards Australia (Sep 2020), for supporting the teaching of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in alignment with Australian Curriculum through a cultural capability lens.
With a full chain of custody behind its production, it is printed using soy-based inks, with paper stock that is FSC and PEFC 100% compliant (promoting sustainable forest management), and by print services committed to being environmentally certified to ISO14001:2015 standards and SMETA compliant in ethical trade services.
The culmination of a collaborative creative process, this multi-faceted educational resource highlights the natural ability and awareness of good design to commit to, and enhance, a desired visual outcome. Our Land, Our Stories aims to transform the conversation around Indigenous culture and heritage. With government support and recognition, we can ensure that this rich collection of stories, artwork and audio/visual content is accessible to every school/classroom, and that the stories and knowledge become embedded in our learning, serving as a catalyst for discussions around the design aesthetic of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – and on a deeper level, our design identity as Australians.
The resource sought to fill an obvious gap in the market for this content, with the aim to empower educators to address the topics from a position of knowledge, confidence and sensitivity. It offers a whole-school approach, with each tier encompassing various formats, designed for a specific teaching level. As a practice, designing for educational purposes requires a fundamental understanding of how students learn. Content and visuals are constructed with the user’s needs and objectives at heart, with traditional page structure, use of colour, font, graphics and visual tension all key to ensuring both a constructive learning environment, and a supportive visual storytelling of the content as it was intended.
– Series branding aims to communicate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are living and continuous, its tri-colour represents country, people and culture, the three key themes of the series.
– The easy-to-navigate digital component features QR codes leading to extra audio and visual content, including audio of Indigenous languages.
– The series features Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families from across Australia, rural and urban, with photographs giving an authentic insight into their lives.
– Original Aboriginal and Torres Strait artworks are showcased, many from AIATSIS’ collection, and respectfully treated and supported by the series design.
– Victorian writers and stories are prominent throughout, including a Welcome to Country by Victorian Elder, Carolyn Briggs.