Jolly Read Media

Jolly Read Natasha Lea Rottnest Daisy

Jolly Read is a journalist and author who lives in South Fremantle, a suburb of the Port town of Fremantle, Western Australia.

Her latest book is about the unique little Rottnest Island marsupial that has become famous for being the happiest wild animal on the planet.

She can just see Rottnest from her verandah but not the quokkas!

Other works include Kangkushot, the Life of Nyamal Lawman, Peter Coppin, shortlisted for the WA Premier Book Awards, and the play Yandy.

Yandy won a WA Premier Book Award for best script.

Can a Quokka Quack? By Jolly Read, Illustrated by Natasha Lea

Can a Quokka Quack?

The new quirky funny kids’ book about the unique little Rottnest Island marsupial that has become famous for being the happiest wild animal on the planet. Crazy rhyming verse story by Jolly Read and superbly illustrated by artist Natasha Lea.

Order your copy
Or find in-store at these stockists:
WA Maritime Museum, Fremantle
Shipwrecks Museum Fremantle
Rottnest General Store, Rottnest Island
Paper Bird Bookshop, Fremantle
Saga Bookshop, South Fremantle
Mokoh, South Fremantle
Pekho  Wear + Wares, Fremantle
Collins Bookshop, Cottesloe
Dymocks, Claremont
Found gift shop, Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle
The Chart and Map Shop, Fremantle
New Edition Bookshop, Fremantle
Crow Books, East Victoria Park
Paperbark Merchants, York st, Albany
Aspects of Kings Park, Fraser Avenue, Kings Park
Mini Marche Shop, Market St, Fremantle
Rottnest Visitor Centre, Rottnest Island
Zoonique, Perth Zoo Shop, South Perth
Western Australian Visitor Centre, 55 William St, Perth


Kangkushot provides valuable insights into the rich and spiritual way Aboriginal people view their lives and land, and their place in it.

This is an updated edition of an epic and remarkable story of senior Nyamal lawman, Peter Coppin, who dreamed of a different life for his people. Despite great danger to themselves, he and others took part in the first Aboriginal strike in Australia, the Pilbara Strike in 1946.

Born in Yarrie country in Western Australia’s Pilbara, he describes a life of danger, drama and hardship; his people forced to work on pastoral stations for meagre rations, their lives subject to the whims of white pastoralists, government agents and legislators. Coppin went on to be awarded a British Empire medal, was joint NAIDOC elder of the year – and won a police medal, as well as negotiating the first perpetual leases over Pilbara land and running a successful cattle station.

Jolly Read worked closely with Peter Coppin and his community. The first edition was shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Award with the play from the book winning the WA Premier’s script award.

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Cover image: Kangkushot, Life of Nyamal Lawman Peter Coppin. Author Jolly Read
Cover image Yandy by Jolly Read program Black Swan Theatre production


Yandy tells the story of the first Aboriginal workers’ strike in this nation’s history. In 1946, 800 pastoral workers in the vast Pilbara went on strike. A quarter of a century later they eventually gained their own land and station at Yandeyarra, near Port Hedland. This landmark event happened 20 years before cattle workers in the Northern Territory staged the more widely documented Wave Hill strike.

One of the original Pilbara strike leaders, Peter Coppin (‘Kangkushot’)lived on the land he fought so hard to regain until his death in 2006 aged 86. His experiences and life story have inspired and informed the script. Yandy is a major Australian story that tells of the enormous courage and determination by the strikers – in the face of brutality, starvation, chainings and gaolings – to break their bonds of slavery to the pastoralists.

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“Yandy is iconoclastic for its representation of Don McLeod as being “one of them,” meaning a white to the Aboriginal people and not the blackfella’s friend he styled himself as. It is refreshing for its naïve representation of Dorothy Hewett as a young reporter for the West Australian who is looking for a story rather than a headline. But most of all it is informative for the way it documents and elaborates the details of the Aboriginal station-workers’ Strike of 1946, sometimes called “the blackfella’s Eureka”: how the pastoralists were outraged, how the police took their side, and how the Aboriginal people took a stand and did not give in, not even to this day according to some of the old people who insist that they never returned to work on the stations. A dramatic illustration of how the master-slave relationship is ruptured when the slave says No.”

Judges’ Comments – WA Premier’s Book Award for best script, 2004.

‘This is a timely update of Jolly Read’s excellent work.’

On Kangkushot …, Kim Beazley, Australian ambassador to the USA

“Utterly delightful and thoroughly adorable…the illustrations so beautifully celebrate the joy of the macropod brings to almost everyone who crosses its path. It’s impossible to read Can a Quokka Quack? without a smile on your face.”

On Can a Quokka Quack … , The West Magazine, 24 November 2018)

“Yandy…An inspiring story chronicling the nation’s first strike of Aboriginal workers back in 1946…this is not to be missed.”

On Yandy …, The Sunday Times Magazine, 17 October 2004

“Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this play is the way in which the audience is included and engaged…I admit I cried when Peter Coppin struggled onto the stage at the end of the performance to be greeted by the cast – his is one of WA’s great stories and Jolly Read and Black Swan deserve hearty praise for making sure we know about it.”

On Yandy …, Fremantle Herald, 16 October 2004

‘The Pilbara strike was an important and inspiring milestone in the battle for justice, rights, equality and recognition for Indigenous people.’

On Kangkushot …, Professor Patrick Dodson, former Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

“This is a big, sprawling, ambitious epic production that stakes out its own territory.”

On Yandy …, Ron Banks, The West Australian, 11 October 2004

“It is a splendid production, its power lying in the overlap between life and art.”

On Yandy …, Victoria Laurie, Weekend Australian, 17 October 2004