This week AMRRIC, or Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities, launched not one but two new books online, entitled ‘What Wally Needs’ and ‘Bacon and Eggs Visit the Vet’.
Instead of having a physical launch party, they chose to have an online launch, so that it could be seen by as many children in remote schools across Australia as possible. The books were launched to coincide NAIDOC Week 2020, which this year has the theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.
For the launch, the Northern Territory Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Member for Arnhem Selena Uibo read the books on camera. The videos of Minister Uibo reading the books are available through the AMRRIC website so that schools and parents around Australia can show the book reading to kids.
Minister Uibo said ‘It’s really great that AMRRIC has these new books which they are getting out to our communities, which talk about looking after our animals and especially about looking after the welfare of our dogs.’
The books were developed by AMRRIC’s Education Officer Courtney Falls in response to a growing need for better resources explaining animal welfare issues for children in remote communities.
AMRRIC CEO Brooke Rankmore said ‘The books are set in a community context and use storylines about issues and challenges that are unique to remote communities with visiting vet services. The illustrations by award winning artist Allan Sumner, will resonate with kids in remote communities.’
Copies of the books will be made available to schools across numerous remote communities. AMRRIC CEO Brooke Rankmore said ‘The books were created to empower communities and to share knowledge about essential vet services’.
With companion animal populations in remote communities nationally being impacted by reduced veterinary service provision in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdowns, these book releases are more timely than ever to support and encourage children and families with management of their companion animals.
‘What Wally Needs’ tells the story of a very loveable dog who has been left home alone. The book follows Wally on his adventures to find the necessary resources to survive while his family are away. While on his quest, Wally gets himself into some sticky situations until Aunty finds Wally and takes care of him. The story highlights the importance of ensuring our animals are taken care of when left alone for long periods of time.
‘Bacon and Eggs Visit the Vet’ follows the adventures of Holly, a young girl, and her dogs Bacon and Eggs and their seven puppies. Holly’s dogs begin causing trouble in her community, knocking over bins, coming to school, and keeping her awake at night. Holly knows that she needs to stop Bacon and Eggs having more puppies, and lucky for her the vet is in town! The story highlights the impacts of having too many dogs on our mental and physical health and benefits of having our dogs de-sexed.
AMRRIC operates on a One Health One Wellbeing model, which acknowledges the importance of animal health for human, community, and environmental health. Resources such as these books aim to educate children from an early age about the importance of taking care of animals, vet services, and the relationship between animal and human health. AMRRIC CEO Brooke Rankmore says ‘We hope the books bring about discussion, questions, and a sharing of knowledge’.