Friday, September 17, 2010

Acronyms I’m grateful for this week...

1. NASCA: I’m grateful I am part of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy. As part of a NASCA initiative, this week I witnessed the extreme excitement and joy of 43 students (aged 10-15) from Ntaria (Hermannsburg) who came to Sydney on their first flight and then had their first glimpse of and swim in the sea. As I looked up from breakfast down Maroubra Beach and saw the kids kicking footballs, talking to life-guards and riding beach buggies my heart swelled. The kids also got to hang with Olympic champion Libby Trickett, walk across the Harbour Bridge and play laser skirmish. With a taste of city life they went back to the NT with a greater understanding of life in the city and many want to return. Come back soon, I say. You can learn more about the week in Sydney on this episode of the 7.30 Report or read the article in The Australian.
2. NCIE: I’m grateful for the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Redfern which has become a hub of healthy activity and community engagement. Go to the gym there and do some laps or lunges or even have some laughs, and you’ll be grateful for too! I’m keeping one eye on the boot camp about to start... and the other eye on the chocolate! [The NCIE is also where the kids from Ntaria stayed while in Sydney]
3. NLA: I’m grateful to the National Library of Australia who hosted a stunning evening of readings to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Project. I was delighted to take to the stage alongside ILP Ambassadors Kate Grenville and David Malouf with local writers Kerry Reed-Gilbert and Adrian Caesar. As writers we were asked to read from the books that had inspired us. I chose Terri Janke’s Butterfly Song, a beautiful and eloquent Australian novel. I was also grateful for those who came along and supported not only financially but got into the spirit of ILP and offered to continue the awareness raising campaign. More power to you all.
4: AIATSIS: I’m grateful to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies – the repository for everything published, photographed and recorded about and by Indigenous Australia. With a comprehensive library, bookshop, publishing arm and research centre, they also host seminar series each year. This week I was part of Text and Texture series, speaking alongside Janine Dunleavy about Aboriginal literature and literacy. A great role up, interesting discussion and an excellent platform from which to promote the developments that have happened in writing and publishing in the past decade. To watch webcasts of the series click here.
[Pics above of Janine Dunleavy and I at the seminar and group shop of Seminar Coordinator Jeanine Leane on far left and Black Words Coordinator Sam Faulkner, far right]
5. RA: I’m grateful not only that Reconciliation Australia continues to work to build bridges between black and white Australia, but staff came along to the Text and Texture seminar at AIATSIS this week to learn more about our books and writing. I’m doubly grateful that they have invited me to visit their book club later in the year to yarn about Manhattan Dreaming. See you all then!

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