Boori Monty Pryor
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Boori (Monty) Pryor is a storyteller, writer and performer. He was born in Townsville, North Queensland in 1950. His father is of the Birri-gubba people from the Bowen region and his mother, from Yarrabah near Cairns, is Kunggandji. A multi-talented performer and an articulate public speaker on Aboriginal issues, Boori has worked in numerous industries, including education, film, television, modeling, sport and music. He has played in two World Masters Games in basketball competition, winning a Silver Medal for Australia in 1994.
An accomplished didgeridoo player, Boori has played with the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra at the Melbourne Wurundjeri Welcome to Michael Jackson and has conducted a didgeridoo workshop which was broadcast nationally on ABC Radio. He also performed in Sydney for the Pope and 300,000 people at the Beautification of Mary McKillop.
Boori is in great demand as a public speaker and storyteller, and travels extensively throughout Australia and overseas year round to perform for school students and professional adult groups. Boori has travelled to Europe several times where he has performed for school children in England, Italy and Austria. Boori has also spoken at conferences in Northern Ireland. Boori received an award for the Promotion of Indigenous Culture from the National Aboriginal and Islander Observance Committee for the "outstanding contribution to the promotion of indigenous culture".
His first book, Maybe Tomorrow, was written in collaboration with writer and photographer Meme McDonald and has been followed by the award-winning books My Girragundji, The Binna Binna Man, Njunjul the Sun, and Flytrap. His stories are about finding strength within to deal with the challenges without, and his skill is to create positive visions of the future for both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
Boori’s picture book Shake A Leg, illustrated by Jan Ormerod, has won multiple awards including the 2011 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Children’s Fiction. Shake a Leg evolved from pictures of his family dancing, which Boori showed Jan, sparking a long and rewarding collaboration between the two.
In 2012, Boori was made an inaugural Australian Children's Laureate. He lives in far north Queensland but spends much of the year on the road.
Boori and staff from The Literature Centre traveled to the Pilbara in November 2012 with thanks to BHP Billiton Iron Ore. During a week-long event, he met and presented to hundreds of school children in Port Hedland and Newman.
Find out more about Boori Monty Pryor via the Australian Children's Laureate website www.childrenslaureate.org.au