• 'Colouring Country' by Ros Moriarty. (NITV News)Source: NITV News
A new Aboriginal colouring-in book aims to break down barriers between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
NITV Staff Writer

17 Jun 2016 - 4:31 PM  UPDATED 17 Jun 2016 - 4:31 PM

‘Colouring Country’ creator Ros Moriarty told NITV News her art therapy book, which features Indigenous colouring-in templates, brings Indigenous and other Australians closer together because it provides a calming experience.

Ms Moriarty says she believes the "personal experience" of colouring in images that depict Indigenous landscapes "is the best possible motivator of open minds and hearts across the community".

"I hope it contributes in its own small way to the groundswell of all Australians embracing an equitable shared future."

The art therapy book, launched in April, contains art of Yanyuwa culture in Borooloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and Balarinji, the design studio that she and her husband, Yanyuwa man John Moriarty, co-founded in 1983.

Ms Moriarty says, however, it does not intend to represent every Indigenous culture on the continent.

“For many people that will reflect a mirror and for others it won’t.”

Australia comprises more than 250 Indigenous nations, according to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

But the book is a good place to start in the effort to grow people’s appreciation of Australia’s Indigenous heritage, she says.

“The stories are very much around the landscape and the interconnectedness of people, land, respect for land, the sense of how successfully Aboriginal society cared for our majestic and fragile continent for more than 60,000 years,” she says.

John Moriarty told NITV News the women elders in his community encouraged Ms Moriarty to create the book, which he describes as universal.  

“We should be able to share this not only with other Aboriginal communities [and] the general population at large, but also with the overseas communities.”

Balarinji supports artists by directing funds into their communities in Borooloola and Robinson River areas. 

'Colouring Country' is published by Murdoch Books.