He made us proud on X Factor and now his new book encourages our kids to have pride in their culture.

He made us proud on X Factor and now his new book encourages our kids to have pride in their culture.

Australia’s 2017 Eurovision representative Isaiah Firebrace is raising his voice, but in a new domain.
The multifaceted Yorta Yorta Gunditjmara man is now adding author to his list of accolades, with his debut children’s book, ‘Come Together: Things Every Aussie Kid Should Know about the First Peoples’.
The heart-warming book explores 24 of the most important aspects of First Nations culture and history.
“This has probably been one of the most significant things I’ve done in the space of being a leader for my people,” he said.
Isaiah Firebrace says this is the first of many children's books he intends to publish.

Isaiah Firebrace says this is the first of many children’s books he intends to publish. Credit: Tanisha Williams

“It’s always got to start with our kids. They’re the next generation, they’re the ones that are going to grow up and be young adults and then be our leaders.

“That goes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous … we need to be teaching them the right things for the betterment of our country.

“I really hope First Nations kids can take away a sense of pride, a sense of joy, connectedness and for anyone else that picks this book up and reads it, I just want them to learn something new.”

A collaboration between First Nations creatives

The concept for the book came off the back of a petition Firebrace started last year, which
The 2016 X Factor Australia winner spent the past year putting the book together with two other First Nations creatives – graphic artist and designer Keisha Leon and self-taught illustrator Jaelyn Biumaiwai.

“It’s a piece of your soul and you put a lot of energy into it. It’s not just about making something aesthetically beautiful, it’s actually about being proud of something,” Leon said.

Isaiah Firebrace, Keisha Leon and Jaelyn Biumaiwai signing autographs during the book launch.

Isaiah Firebrace, Keisha Leon and Jaelyn Biumaiwai signing autographs during the book launch. Credit: Tanisha Williams

“At the end of the day, I have to give this to… my community and my son, so I have to stand by what I believe in the book too, and also the design that I created for it.

“It’s always fun making kids books… they have a huge imagination, their paths are just getting paved, and they’re just full of joy.”
The book’s illustrator Jaelyn Biumaiwai said she had a similar drive.
“When I first started illustrating that was my main goal, to try and help my communities make change through illustration. So the fact that I could get this opportunity was really special,” she told NITV News.

“I was even learning a lot about my own culture doing the illustrations.”

Firebrace drops first Christmas carol

Of course, adding the new feather to his cap doesn’t mean Firebrace is giving up his immense musical talent.
While adding last-minute touches to the book, he was also in the studio writing and recording his first ever Christmas song which dropped on November 17.
“I love Christmas, I love the holidays and spending time with my family, reflecting on the year, appreciating both the good and bad that’s happened and just being in the moment,” Firebrace said.
“I’ve done all of the Christmas carol shows, I’m always singing other people songs and I always thought I want have my own song to sing at Christmas time so I got into the studio and I wrote this song all by myself.

“It’s called ‘First Christmas’, I’m very proud of it – it’s an upbeat, fun, R&B, cool Christmas song and I just hope everyone gets as much enjoyment out of it as I did making it.”

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