Set in Bundjalung country two hundred years ago, the story revolves around two Bundjalung heroes, Balagaan and Gawngan, intertwining Aboriginal myth and lore with historical research to recreate the traditional lifestyle of Australia’s First Nations People on the cusp of the English invasion. It is a story told through the eyes of Australia’s Indigenous inhabitants rather than the British colonisers.

“I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait for the sequel.”  -Kerry Stevenson.

A stand alone picture book, ‘Gawngan and the Marriage Tree’ tells the story of Gawngan, a young woman who desperately wants to be free from an arranged marriage to a bully of a  husband. The story revolves around the Bundjalung custom that dubay-mir (young women) could have marriages annulled if they successfully climbed a special tree, ‘The Marriage Tree’, and removed a certain number of branches from it. 

Can Gawngan climb the enormous tree and remove the branches so she can be rid of Dangan forever and be free to marry her childhood sweetheart Balagaan?

Told through the eyes of the traditional Bundjalung heroes, Balagaan and Gawngan, ‘Savages’ weaves Australian Frontier Conflict history, local history and myth together to recreate the story of one of the most brutal massacres in Australia’s Frontier Wars, the East Ballina massacre, an event so shameful that Colonialist historians have reduced it to a distasteful footnote in Australia’s history.