Going Bush

Illustrated by Ken Searle

Allen & Unwin, 2006

As a group of children from different cultural backgrounds explore a patch of inner-city bushland, they make discoveries about the land they share and the things they have in common. The story of their simple but inspirational journey is a model for the way harmony can be shared across Australian society.

When Nadia Wheatley was asked to devise a project to build harmony among children from a variety of Catholic, Muslim and public schools, she took them on a walk through a small patch of bush in their local area. Back in the classroom, Nadia and artist Ken Searle helped the students to continue their explorations through writing and art.  As the children learned about the land and its traditional owners, its animals, plants and seasons, they also began a journey of friendship and understanding.

The innovative picture book, Going Bush, incorporates the children's artwork, poems and prose with a narrative text by Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle's photographs, illustration and design. It provides a template for any parent or teacher who wants to encourage children to write, draw and explore.

Suitable from lower primary up.



Selected Reviews

‘A great reminder of how children inhabit their environment — all of it and all the time...a detailed explanation of the sophisticated set of relationships between cultures, places and peoples of Australia.
— Courier Mail
Full of inspiration for children, parents and teachers who may want to undertake their own project… At a time when people are seeking a positive model of social cohesion, Going Bush will show how to grow community from the grass roots.
— Junior Bookseller and Publisher
This beautifully-produced book is the product of a wonderful collaborative effort…It would be wonderful as a model for a class project about the history of a local area. Because of its focus on the traditional owners and how they lived on the land, it is an excellent tool for reconciliation.
— Ethos


Winner, Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing (Primary Student Reference) 2007

Shortlisted Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission Awards 2007

Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature, 2008            

Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards, Best Book for Language Development, Lower Primary Children, 2008                        

CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award Notable Book 2008

CBCA Eve Pownall Award Notable Book 2008