About Rock Solid

acd resource rock solid 020

A little bit about Rock Solid and its journey.

Rock Solid is a resource developed for the Aboriginal community, through deep partnership between the Association for Children with a Disability (ACD) and Aboriginal researcher and community advocate, Jody Barney.

Jody Barney is a Urangan/Birri-Gubba Deaf woman living in regional Victoria. Jody has worked in the area of Deafness and Disability for over 25 years. Jody has worked on numerous resources to increase the knowledge and information for families, communities and organisations. Jody is currently working on training and development projects for services and organisations on a variety of Aboriginal issues.

Research and consultation

ACD asked Jody to do community research and consultation as part of developing Learning Together, a resource for all Victorian families who have children with special needs in school.

The richness of the knowledge and stories shared by Elders and families in this research comes out of Jody’s culturally grounded ways of doing that work.

A new resource for community

Rock Solid started life as just a few pages of Learning Together.

It grew into Rock Solid because of the wealth of knowledge that Elders and families shared, because of the huge community need for information, and because families said that to be useful, a resource must use language, quotes, ideas and images that families use in everyday life.

A weaving together

That is why Rock Solid weaves together many different voices and knowledges.

Rock Solid weaves together:

  • information about schools and services from ACD’s everyday work helping families,
  • the voices of Elders and families who took part, and
  • Jody’s voice as researcher, and community advocate and cultural consultant.

These are reflected in the language used, and the quotes, stories and ideas shared.

Rock Solid is first of all for families. We hope you find it useful.

But we also hope that schools and services can learn from Rock Solid – about what families might want, and what they have a right to expect.

Thank you

We are grateful to Boonwurrung Elder Aunty Carolyn Briggs and Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Diane Kerr for their support for Rock Solid, including the Welcome.

Our deep gratitude to the Elders and families involved in Rock Solid for so generously sharing their knowledge and stories to help other children, young people and families in community.


Rock Solid is based on community research and consultation by Jody Barney. Text is by Sarah Marlowe with Jody Barney. Photos by Jody Barney, video by Martin Wurt (Working Photos) and support from Cara Brough, Elizabeth McGarry and the staff of ACD. Project management by Sarah Marlowe.

With thanks for support provided by the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

The artwork in Rock Solid was created by Aboriginal artist Renee Jenkins. Renee says that to create the artwork she reflected on her own parenting experience, which she likens to a journey with stepping stones along the way.

Each aspect of the artwork has special meaning:

  • The small feet on either side of the line represent the journey of little ones through life.
  • The leaf and gumnut represent connection to the earth.
  • The blend of colours from yellow to orange and red also represent connection to the earth.
  • The blue represents connection to water and the sky.
  • The cross-hatching in the leaf is called a ‘southern linear’ design which has significance to the area of Victoria, Australia.
  • Black represents the Aboriginal people of Australia.
  • Yellow represents the sun, the giver of life and protector.
  • Red represents the red earth, the red ochre and a spiritual connection to the land.

It was a personal journey for Renee as she created the artwork. We hope it resonates with other families as they go on their own journey.

The text of Rock Solid is published and owned by ACD, but with deep respect for the cultural intellectual property of the Elders and families, and of Jody as researcher, cultural consultant and co-author. This remains with them, and no use should be made of quotes or ideas herein without appropriate acknowledgements and permissions. Please contact ACD for more information.