Sunday, November 21, 2010

What I’m grateful for this week...



1. RA BOOKCLUB: I made my book club debut on Friday, and what an exciting coming out it was! I arrived at RA headquarters in Old Parliament House and a room full of cupcakes prepared by BC member Melissa (pictured above). I had to focus on discussing Manhattan Dreaming while dozens of cakes sat in front of me begging to be devoured. Is this how all book clubs work? If so, then I’d be pleased to visit your book club soon! But let me warn you, the hospitality bar is VERY high. I’m grateful to Kylie (pictured below) from RA for organising the event, and all the staff (also pictured) who came along, having read the book, or soon to read it. I understand it was their first meeting also. If you’re on Facebook, you can join the RA page here. Oh, and you can join my page here...





2. ACT ARTS: Kudos and gratitude to ACT Arts who coordinated with the ACT Writers’ Centre so I could run some writers workshops this weekend. My job involved getting the creative juices flowing with emerging writers, but also to give some one-on-one consults to help set writing deadlines and offer advice on getting published. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share my writing and publishing experiences and knowledge, but more so, I’m grateful for the inspiration I gained myself from the enormously talented future novelists, poets, non-fiction and children’s book authors. At the end of day one, I just wanted to start writing the character profiles of my next book. Alas, I was actually too exhausted to do anything following an intensive day of other people’s creativity.
3. NMA: Thanks also to the National Museum of Australia who hosted the workshop and provided a stunning venue on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin – as well as some of the best scones ever. Yes, writers need lots of sustenance! Special mention of Leanne Dempsey, Coordinator of Audience Development & Public Programs for her assistance in making it all run smoothly. If you can’t get Canberra to visit the stunningly emotional and historically significant exhibition Yiwarra Kuju- The Canning Stock Route then be sure and check out the NMA website in coming weeks where you can read reviews of the exhibit written by workshop participants.


4. SSYC: I’m proud and privileged to be have been appointed the new Patron of South Sydney Youth Services. The organisation’s vision is ‘A strong, connected community that values its members with opportunities and justice for all’. I first worked with SSYS back in the 90s when we did workshops with Koori youth in Minda, Reiby, Yasmar and Mt Penang. In those days there was a small office with an enormous workload and only five staff running various programs. The organisation has grown immensely in the past 15 years, now with over 30 staff, they will soon be in their new building on the same site at Waterloo Oval. This week I visited the building site with SSYC CEO Shane Brown and met the site manager Mick, from Project Corp Australia. We’re aiming for an opening in the first half of 2011. See pics of Shane and Mick above. Moi and Mick below.

5.ZUMBA: I didn’t think I could do it, and I was far from excellent, but I attempted the one, two, three Zumba thing at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence this week. It really is addictive and I can’t wait to get back there because it’s such a great workout, I don’t feel so guilty when have ice-cream for dinner afterwards!

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