The Wallaby and the Dugong

The Wallaby and the Dugong (English language) from Cairns ILS on Vimeo.

Also available as an MP4 from the State Library of Queensland.

The Wallaby and the Dugong (Umpila language) from Cairns ILS on Vimeo.

Also available as an MP4 from the State Library of Queensland


Author: Written and illustrated by students from Lockhart River State School
Storyteller and Cultural Consultant: Vincent Temple
Literacy facilitator: Dot Walker
Illustration and ICT facilitator: Lynette Griffiths
Editing: Dot Walker
Digital preparation and illustration editing: Lynette Griffiths
Animators: Paul Lalo and Jennie Vigaud
Sound artist: Will Kepa


English narration: Beverley Pascoe
Language narration: Dorothy Short, Suzie Pascoe and Queenie Giblet

Thanks and acknowledgements

Lockhart River State School Principal: Lorraine Boyland
Class teacher: Amanda Lawrence
Teacher aide: Beverly
Pegasus Studios: Nigel Pegrum
Indigenous Knowledge Centre staff
Participating children from Lockhart River State School
With funding assistance from the Australian Government's Indigenous Culture and Support Program


1: A very long time ago at Mosquito Creek there live a wallaby and a dugong.

2:  The wallaby did not like his big flat tail

3:  and the dugong did not like his long pointed tail.

4: Each day they would come to drink at the water hole and share stories about how unhappy they felt about their tails.

5: The wallaby dreamt about hopping fast through the bush and the dugong dreamt about swimming smoothly through the water.

6: So they decided to swap their tails.  They snapped them off and gave them to each other.

7:  Then the two animals tested out their new tails.

8: The tails worked so well both the animals agreed to keep them.

9: The dugong swam off smoothly through the water all the way to Murray Island where he found a wife and had a family.

10: After this they all swam back to Mosquito Creek where they lived happily together.  And that is the story of how the dugong got his tail!

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