About the authors and illustrator
Diane Lucas grew up exploring the bush in New South Wales and moved to Kakadu in her late twenties. Working as a schoolteacher on an Aboriginal outstation, she expanded her knowledge on the bush. From 1991 to 1996, Diane worked on a research project in Kakadu and documented traditional resources on the South Alligator River floodplain and surrounds. She was encouraged by the Aboriginal Elders to write about the land and get stories to children and have supported her efforts as an educator with her children’s books. Walking with the Seasons in Kakadu was her first book and since then she’s published another six.
Ben Tyler is a Bininj entrepreneur and founder of bush food brand Kakadu Kitchen. He currently lives in Darwin on Larrakia country, studying business at Charles Darwin University. On his breaks he returns home to Kakadu to visit his mum and family at their remote family outstation at Patonga Homestead, located beside the Jim Jim Creek in Kakadu National Park. Ben loves gardening with his mum Jessie, and both were very happy when his sister Mandy discovered her green thumb during the Northern Territory’s Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020. Mandy now teaches her grandsons Anthony and Tyrese to love gardening too. The Kakadu billabong family community enjoy growing many types of tropical fruits and vegetables like pawpaw, banana, tomatoes, broccoli, citrus trees, mangoes, cashews, custard apples, tamarind and bush foods like red apple, white apple and native lemongrass. The community includes close relatives from Tiwi Islands and has always been a place that welcomes family, friends and visitors into their busy, noisy, joyful billabong home in Kakadu.
Emma Long has exhibited regularly in group and solo exhibitions across the Northern Territory. Her passion for creative arts has led her to work as an art educator in secondary schools as well as pursue a Bachelor of Visual Arts, a Certificate in Printmaking and a Graduate Diploma of Education. She is inspired by the fresh, raw beauty of nature and feels most at home in the bush with a brush in hand. Emma lives in Darwin with her husband and four children and continues to work as an illustrator and an art educator.