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The Girl from the Great Sandy Desert


Beneath the hot, blue sky, Mana is joined by her brothers, sisters and cousins, as well as her many mothers and her favourite dogs. With wonderful wit, Mana recounts hunting, gathering, kinship, obligations and the never-ending search for water, all told through the eyes of a young girl.

The Girl from the Great Sandy Desert is the charming account of the life of Mana, a young Walmajarri girl, and her family in the desert country of north-west Australia. Mona’s semi-autobiographical narrative is set before European settlement impacted their lives.

Complementing each story are cultural insights that enhance the understanding of desert life, and makes for compelling reading for all ages.

The acclaimed Gooniyandi (Fitzroy River) artist Mervyn Street’s black and white illustrations capture the subtleties of the Walmajarri way of life.

See also Growing up in the Desert, a DVD about author, Mona Chuguna.


Praise for The Girl from the Great Sandy Desert

"Lowe clearly has great respect for, and understanding of, the Indigenous culture and language of the Walmajarri people of the Kimberley region, and this book is a great way for young people to gain a similar understanding."
Hannah Cartmel, Books + Publishing

Jukuna Mona Chuguna

Jukuna Mona Chuguna (deceased) was a Walmajarri woman from the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia. She left the desert with her husband in the 1950s to live and work on cattle and sheep stations in the Kimberley's Fitzroy Valley....

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Pat Lowe

Pat Lowe was born and grew up in England but dreamed of migrating to Australia, which she did in 1972. She worked as a teacher in Africa and as a prison psychologist in Australia, but writing has always been her...

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Mervyn Street

Mervyn Street is a Gooniyandi artist, from the Fitzroy River region of northern Western Australia. In his youth he worked as a stockman and later developed his artistic talents, producing many paintings, drawings and prints of station life. He now...

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Other titles by Jukuna Mona Chuguna

Other titles by Pat Lowe