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"Darnmoor, The Gateway to Happiness. You feel some sense of achievement; that you have reached a destination in the very least. Yet, as the sign states, Darnmoor is merely the measure, a mark, a point on the road you begin to move closer to where you really want to be. Darnmoor itself is nothing."

Darnmoor is the home of the Billymil family, three generations who have lived in this 'gateway town'. Race relations between Indigenous and settler families are fraught, though the rigid status quo is upheld through threats and soft power rather than the overt violence of yesteryear.

As progress marches forwards, Darnmoor and its surrounds undergo rapid social and environmental changes, but as some things change, some stay exactly the same. The Billymil family are watched (and sometimes visited) by ancestral spirits and spirits of the recently deceased, who look out for their descendants and attempt to help them on the right path.

When the town's secrets start to be uncovered the town will be rocked by a violent act that forever shatters a century of silence. Full of music, Yuwaalaraay language and exquisite description, Song of the Crocodile is a lament to choice and change, and the unyielding land that sustains us all, if only we could listen to it.


the belburd

'Mothers are experts at overflow . . . You may forget the words or kisses or gifts they give but that doesn't mean they didn't happen . . . We don't need to remember all the love poured into us. We need to be thankful that it makes us. When it comes to love, it's all about being. Not remembering so much.'

Ginny Dilboong is a young poet, fierce and deadly. She's making sense of the world and her place in it, grappling with love, family and the spaces in which to create her art. Like powerful women before her, Ginny hugs the edges of waterways, and though she is a daughter of Country, the place that shapes her is not hers. Determined and brave, Ginny seeks to protect the truth of others while learning her own. The question is how?

And, all the while, others are watching. Some old, some new. They are the sound of the belburd as it echoes through the world; the sound of cars and trucks and trains. They are in trees and paper and the shape of ideas. They are the builder and the built. Everything, even Ginny, is because of them.

The Belburd is a powerful story that shows us we are all connected from before we began to long after we begin again.

News and Events


 PRE ORDER 'the belburd' NOW

Happy cover reveal day! Things are ramping up and Nardi is working hard with the wonderful people at at Hachette for an October 2024 launch of Nardi's second novel 'the belburd.'  The wonderful news is that keen beans are able to preorder the book RIGHT NOW here.

It's both terrifying and wondrous at the same time to see ideas morph into physical form and Nardi is incredibly proud to see her idea grow wings as it were. There is also a beautiful sytlistic and cultural symmetry between her two books. The dedication to Song of the Crocodile reads 'for my ngurrambaa,' which transltes from Yuwaalaraay as 'to my homelands. the belburd's dedication reads: for ngaannguwaa-bala ngurrambaa. For someone else's homelands. 

Nardi sincerely hopes the spirit of the belburd, Ginny Dilboong, Boy Scar, Eel Mother and Great Whale find their way to you in some way soon.





16/06/24  Yalukit Willam Country

WIllamstown VIC

On Writing Lyrics with Jen Cloher

10:30-11:30 am AEST

The Supper Room 



NS bio shot.HEIC

Nardi Simpson is a Yuwaalaraay storyteller and performer living in Sydney. Training as a musician, Nardi began her artistic journey as a songwriter and performer with vocal duo Stiff Gins. This has seen her travel both nationally and internationally for over twenty-three years releasing four albums, two singles, an EP and countless compliations during that time.

Nardi's writing journey started with Writing NSW's Indigenous Writers’ Mentorship Program in 2014. In 2018 she received the State Library of QLD’s Blak&Write! Indigenous Fellowship and began refining what was to become her debut novel 'Song of the Crocodile'. In 2020 Nardi wrote and premiered her debut play ‘'Black Drop Effect,’ at that years Sydney Festival. In October of the same year, 'Song of the Crocodile' was released with Hatchette Australia. Most recently, Nardi composed, conducted and performed in the 2022 Sydney Festival and Sydney Opera House presentations of '-barra,' a sonic and visual journey through her Yuwaalaraay homelands.


While currently working on her second novel, Nardi continues to perform with Stiff Gins, works with student ensembles and directs cross-cultural choir Barayagal at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She is also currently undertaking a PhD with the ANU School of Music. Whatever the creative project infront of her, Nardi remains committed and active in the making and sharing of culture, music and story in both her Sydney and Yuwaalaraay communities.

In The Press


Rich, complex characters who’ll stay in your thoughts long after you’ve closed the book, a gripping story that moves effortlessly through time and space, and a voice suffused with music and warmth. SONG OF THE CROCODILE is a moving, wise, deeply rewarding novel from an astonishing writer.

 Simpson doesn’t shy away from the complexity and nuance of the characters, who are at once survivors, victims and perpetrators of trauma grounded in dispossession and injustice. However, nor does she deny these characters joy and meaning in their lives – bringing their stories to the page with great tenderness and lyricism. This book is necessary reading for all Australians. 

It’s hard not to drown Song of the Crocodile in awed praise but this book deserves every skerrick of hype. That it is Simpson’s debut feels like a magnificent question: what else might she bring us? For now, just surrender to her storytelling, rich with Yuwaalaraay language and song.








For general inquiries, publicity and bookings please contact Joel at August Management here.

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Here you can explore recent podcasts, guest articles, interviews and revies and online content to do with Song of the Crocodile.

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