Image: Aunty Dorrie & Dale Roberts

The release of a book celebrating the life stories of Indigenous elders on the NSW Far North Coast has been met with a packed tent of more than 150 people at the Byron Bay Writers Festival over the weekend.

The book – called Our Way Stories – was created by local Indigenous woman Dale Roberts in partnership with cultural development body Arts Northern Rivers, and award-winning photographer Kate Holmes.

A successful crowdfunding campaign saw enough pledges – from 158 people – to commit to producing a second volume of stories.

Through the book the Elders share their personal experiences of growing up on missions while trying to maintain their culture and language to encountering prejudice and discrimination in education and employment.

Ms Roberts says the idea came to her when she was listening to the stories of her friend, Uncle Magpie.


Aunty Dorrie Gordon was one of the elders featured in Our Way Stories. Aunty Dorrie became the first female Indigenous ordained minister in NSW.

NIRS journalist Stephen Clarke sat down with Dale Roberts and Aunty Dorrie Gordon to discuss the creation of the book, and where they want to go from here. Aunty Dorrie began our talk with a prayer.