Black Cockatoo

Dirrarn: Daisy Utemorrah Award Winner
Carl Merrison, Hakea Hustler

Paperback | Aug 2023 | Magabala Books | 9781922777027 | 112pp | 198x128mm | GEN | AUD$17.99, NZD$19.99

Age range 10+

Mia could hear the squarks of her Jarriny before she saw them. Her eye’s had flicked to the sky in search of the passing dirrarn but soon realized the noise was from the bird just beyond the gate.

We first met Mia in Black Cockatoo, as she navigated her way through culture, Country and familial ties. Dirrarn follows Mia as she finds herself at boarding school and the challenges of living thousands of kilometres away from home, family, and the big sky country she loves. Mia along with her best friend, Naya, negotiate new friends, new ways of thinking and new ways of being in a different world. As Mia wrestles with all that is unfamiliar, she soon must learn to stand in her truth when confronted with unending challenges.

The dirrarn (black cockatoo) is Mia’s totem animal. It provides her with the strength and freedom to stay connected to her world, even when she is a long way from home. It is this totem she draws upon. Dirrarn is a sensitive story on the power of place, personality and the honour of standing up for the truth.