DYNAMIC DEADLYS: This QLD education program is aptly named in that the amazing young Murri students involved are indeed deadly AND dynamic. High achieving and incredibly talented in terms of the creative writing and performance abilities, I had two days of intense workshops on my first visit to sunny Toowoomba recently. Held at Newtown State School, I was greeted by an enthusiastic team of staff, an energetic Aunty, students from the local area and many from outlying areas including Roma and Dalby.
Within the first thirty minutes I saw eager students standing at the front of the hall, no shame, reading out their newly created characters from faraway places. At the end of each day we had Murri Idol where small groups performed spoken word pieces created from a brainstorming session on Indigenous Australia. I hope to publish some of their words here sometime in the future. In the meantime, enjoy the pics above and below of the kids in action. (Pics courtesy of Rhonda Hagan from the National Indigenous Times)
THE MURRI SCHOOL: For some months now, Sharon Krippner - a volunteer at the Murri School in Acacia Ridge has been asking me to swing by on one of my visits to Bris-Vegas. Finally, last Monday I entered a friendly classroom, greeted by twenty or so fresh-faced, chirpy, attentive, and I might add, gorgeous Year 10 girls. I yarned about my books and writing, the difficulties of researching in places like Paris and Manhattan, and how sometimes not having a boyfriend can be a good thing. “I’d have more grey hair from the stress of a boyfriend,” I told them, half joking.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit the school and the students pictured above, and for their VERY kind gifts of Lindt chocolate and Toblerone brownies! Being a writer is a fattening vocation!
MEN ON THE HILL: Many of you will be aware that since March this year I have been working with the lads from St Laurence’s in Brisbane as part of a National Year of Reading project. (The first blog posts are here and here) We are now in the final stages of editing out short novel – a murder mystery set in the local area – titled The Tightening Grip. I am always grateful for my time at St Laurie’s because I get to work with committed students whose ideas never cease, guided by a team of staff and Principal Mr Ian McDonald, who are passionate about their students producing this work.
From one author to another, I gave each student a copy of my first book Sacred Cows as we await patiently for the delivery of their first book, which I am expecting them all to autograph for me.
** The word “Murri” is a generic term for Aboriginal people in the state of Queensland. Hence, Murri-ville!