Design & Building on Country: First Knowledges for younger readers


From boomerangs to buildings, fire carriers to fashion, learn about Indigenous building and design on Country and how it continues today.

This book is not yet published, but will be available from September 2024.

ISBN: 9781760763565 Category:

Paul Memmott, Alison Page


What do you need to know to prosper as a people for 65,000 years or more?

Join designer and artist Alison Page alongside anthropologist and architect Paul Memmott as they share some of the incredible inventions created by the oldest continuing culture in the world.

With striking colour illustrations from Archibald Prize winning artist Blak Douglas.

The First Knowledges series for younger readers celebrates the wisdom and ingenuity of the First Peoples of this land. From baking the world’s first bread to expertly managing Country so that everything had a chance to flourish, these books provide children with the building blocks to better understand our history and look to the future with fresh eyes.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 15.1 x 20.8 cm
Publisher name Thames & Hudson Australia Pty Ltd
Publication date 24 September 2024
Number of pages 152
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 15.1 x 20.8 cm
Weight 300 g


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Alison Page is a descendant of the Walbanga and Wadi Wadi people of the Tharawal and Yuin nations and an award-winning artist whose work over twenty-five years promotes the creative expression of Aboriginal identity in public art, design and film. In 2015, Alison was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia's Hall of Fame. She appeared for eight years as a regular panelist on the ABC TV show The New Inventors and was the founder of Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance and the National Aboriginal Design Agency. Alison is an Associate Dean at the University of Technology, Sydney, a Councillor for the Australian National Maritime Museum and a Director with the National Australia Day Council.

Paul Memmott is a descendant of Scottish potters and painters. He has had a fifty-year life-experience and career working as an architect, anthropologist and agent for change with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia. He is a transdisciplinary researcher based at University of Queensland, recognising the need to join with Indigenous communities and organisations to bring transformative approaches to improving quality of lifestyle and wellbeing in the face of longitudinal disadvantage and the endeavour for self-determination. One of his books, Gunyah, Goondie + Wurley: The Aboriginal Architecture of Australia, won three national book awards.

Blak Douglas is a modern artist with proud Dhungutti Aboriginal origins. His works are culturally and politically charged with a sense of irony, parody and truth. Blak is a trained illustrator, designer and a self-taught painter. He won the 2018 Kilgour Prize, the 2020 STILL award and the 2022 Archibald Prize. His works are collected by the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of NSW, QAGOMA, the Australian National Maritime Museum, the National Museum of Australia, AIATSIS and other galleries in Australia and abroad.