Boori Guman: Into the Classroom (Secondary Teaching Resource)



Secondary Teaching Resource
Written by Felicia Chadwick

A Gimuy Walubara Yidinji story of the Rainbow Serpent
and the first fire as told by Elder Gudju Gudju

Gondwana Choirs, Lyn Williams AM and Friends

Boori Guman tells the Yidinji story of the origin of fire as shared by Elder Gudju Gudju of the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji people from Cairns in Queensland, Australia. In 2016, composer Owen Elsley collaborated with Elder Gudju Gudju to compose a new work for Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. The new work received its premiere at the Sydney Opera House at the 2017 Songs of My Country concert, featuring the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir, the Vienna Boys’ Choir, and the Sydney Children’s Choir with additional Massed Choir, piano and percussion. A story book was published later that year, illustrated by the Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir singers from Cairns, and is available for purchase (see page 49). Since then Elsley has created a simplified unison choir arrangement of Boori Guman, suitable for younger musicians.

These teaching resources provide a rich source of material to enhance young peoples’ experiences, knowledge and understanding of Boori Guman and, more generally, of First Nations language and stories, and of new Australian music.

The activities and source materials provided are designed to be connected and can be used separately or in tandem. Teachers may use the resources and activities as ends in themselves or as starting points for bringing Boori Guman to life in the classroom.

Non-elective and elective class resources are included.

This resource is available as a PDF, and can be downloaded after purchase.


Writing team:

Dr Felicia Chadwick
Bronwyn Cleworth
Louise Barkl (Editor)
Hester Wright (Editor)