A CHILDREN'S book celebrating the local Yugambeh language was officially launched in Beaudesert yesterday.
The book Jarjum Gurema was funded by the First 5 Forever Program and created in partnership with Mununjalli Housing Development Company.
Gold Coast Titans half back and local Beaudesert and Mununjali man Jamal Fogarty took time out of his busy schedule to promote the book and support a local literacy program for the Scenic Rim's children.
"It's pretty special to be the community literacy champion for my hometown and community and I hope I can have a positive impact with this role," he said.
"I hope I can inspire the parents of our children in the community to recognise and understand the importance of reading, singing, playing and dancing with their children.
"I want to share who I am with the kids and normalise that growing up in this community we can achieve things if we really put our minds to it.
"I also want to share with the kids that even though I'm a parent, I'm still learning and educating myself about our local culture, language and history.
"We should be proud of who we are and where we come from and to never be told any different."
Jermayne Williams from the Mununjali Housing Development was coordinator of the project which saw Beaudesert children who attend the Jarjum (children) Club at Beaudesert State School create stories and illustrations for the book.
He said Jarjum Gurema meant Children's Story in Yugambeh language and aimed to educate people about Mununjali culture and language.
"The book is made to be interactive and every page was made by our kids," he said.
Mr Williams said the children of the JJ Club also recorded a song called Nongunn Animal Song, which is available on Spotify.
The launch at Jubilee Park included a Welcome to Country, performances by traditional dancers, a reading of the book and activities.
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said it was important to recognise and celebrate the language, stories and songs of our Indigenous community.
"Jarjum Gurema is a wonderful, colourful and vibrant book that children and adults of all ages will love reading," he said.
"Every page has been beautifully designed with original illustrations to engage the reader and provides easy to read pronunciations of words in the Yugambeh language, allowing families to engage with and learn the language.
"I want to congratulate everyone who was involved in creating this book as I am sure it will be a popular book on the shelves for library visitors to pick up and read."
Cr Christensen said to celebrate the launch of the book, Scenic Rim Libraries would be giving away a free copy of Jarjum Gurema to children under the age of five between 9am and 12pm on Thursday, September 30 at the Beaudesert, Tamborine Mountain, and Canungra libraries. The limit is one book per family, while stocks last.
The First 5 Forever is an initiative of the Queensland government, coordinated by the State Library of Queensland and delivered in partnership with local government.