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Téa&Belle Book Review - Free Diver by Lorrae Coffin

This Book Club was an Initiative of Téa&Belle, They wanted to showcase and celebrate Indigenous Authors and books that promoted Indigenous culture. Each week the girls read a book to the world via the wonderful world of YouTube.

The girls have enjoyed this experience so much and have become very invested in becoming teachers of the future. Tea&Belle's vision for their "Schools In" YouTube channel is that all the little kids can watch this channel and have a story read to them in a fun way.

We urge to all have a look at the channel.

The other initiative from the girls is that each week you can nominate an Aboriginal &/or Torres Strait Islander playgroup and the girls will send the book of the week out to the playgroup to help build their library, they will also ask a question relating to the book and the first right answer will also have the book sent out to them.

"I hear the voice of the captain telling me to earn my keep, I'm free diving. Into the water I go .....

Free Diver, What a great story to launch the Téa&Belle Indigenous Book Club.


Free Diving is a poignant tribute to the ‘black birding’ of Aboriginal men and women who worked in the pearling industry as ‘free divers’ in the late nineteenth century in Western Australia. There were no protective suits and with every descent, divers faced the terrifying threat of the bends, shark attack or being shipwrecked in a cyclone. Under the control of indifferent European lugger owners, many men and women forced to dive for the valuable pearl shell lost their lives and never made it home to family.

The fictionalised lyrical narrative is based on the celebrated song ‘Free Diving’ by singer–songwriter Lorrae Coffin. It sensitively recreates the emotional journey of a young man who leaves family and country to work on a lugger with Japanese and Malay divers by his side. Bronwyn Houston’s illustrations are a deep-sea celebration that illuminate both the glory of the ocean and the extreme dangers encountered by the free divers.


Lorrae Coffin is a descendant of the Nyiyaparli and Yindijibarndi people of the Pilbara in Western Australia.

She is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, singer–songwriter and a co-founder of the internationally acclaimed Marrugeku Company, a leader in intercultural dance theatre.

She is recognised throughout Australia for her knowledge of the Indigenous Arts Music Industry. Free Diving is her first book.

Bronwyn Houston is a descendant of the Nyiyaparli and Yindijibarndi people of the Pilbara in Western Australia. She grew up in Broome and gets her creative inspiration in the natural world. Bronwyn has written and illustrated several books including Return of the Dinosaurs (Magabala Books, 2016).

Free Diving is the first collaboration with her Aunty Lorrae.

Téa&Belle would like to thank the generosity of Magabala Books for supporting this initiative.

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