Caring for Country

This story was composed after an unforgettable experience in Arnhem Land on Rambarranga and Dalabon country, welcomed and taught by a group of rangers from across West Arnhem Land, who continue to inspire me to this day.

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Emily Bridgeman spent her first three years after school working and travelling around Northern Australia as a governess on Indigenous-run cattle stations in the Kimberly and in Arnhem land. During her time there, she connected and made lifelong friendships with the Indigenous people who worked alongside her. Shortly after returning to country New South Wales, Emily was invited by her dear friend to join her on a fire camp in West Arnhem Land. This is when Emily spent time learning and working alongside rangers and traditional owners caring for country and controlled burning. This life-changing experience, alongside her years on the cattle station learning and discovering rich culture, inspired her to write her first picture book, Caring for Country.

Samantha Metcalfe is a Natural History Illustrator who finds inspiration in the unique biodiversity of the Australian bush. Working primarily in colour pencil, her realistic and detailed illustrations often focus on capturing Australia’s native flora and fauna. Samantha has illustrated several children’s picture books including A Rainbow of Feathers (with Jenny Gahan, 2020) and A Land Down Under (with Maggie May Gordon, 2021). Her first illustrated book, Carmichael’s Journey (with Shelly Fussell) was shortlisted for the 2019 Children’s Book Council of Australia Award for New Illustrator.

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Samantha Metcalfe


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