Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thank you TARA, I’m grateful

Last week I had the great pleasure and privilege of being the inaugural writer-in-residence at TARA Anglican School for Girls in Parramatta. My time there involved speaking with students from Year 7 through to Year 11 about my own writing, but also in relation to curriculum they are working through as part of their schooling. With that in mind, I spoke about my favourite Indigenous female poets, great speeches and anthems related to Indigenous Australia (the Burnum Burnum Declaration, the 1938 Day of Mourning Manifesto, the Paul Keating Redfern Park Speech, Kevin Rudd’s ‘Apology Speech’) and the story behind the well-known tune From Little Things Big Things Grow. 

We created characters and story-lines for a potential novel, and I also managed to punch out a few thousand words of my own work while in the library. It was an amazing week and I have much to be grateful for, including the following:

I am grateful for the invitation from Principal Susan Middlebrook and the Head of the English Department Kath Lathouras. My time at TARA allowed me to engage and share with the students, but also afforded me the space to work on the final edits of my novel due at Simon & Schuster this week.

 Red Velvet Cake - every writer needs it!

 I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with talented students who respect and value the role of literature in society. And I thank their teachers for nurturing that in their students. 
 I’m grateful to the staff and students in the Boarding house where I spent four nights – in a single bed mind you! I’m pleased to report that no one short-sheeted by bed, but they did let me use their hairdryer, watch their TV and share their chocolates! 
Cupcakes with Orea's - brain food!
  I’m extremely grateful to the ever-supportive library staff who kept my sugar levels up with muffins and chocolates, which also assisted my creative output.

    Finally, I’m grateful I was able to experience such extraordinary manners at TARA. My definition of stylish is not about what a woman wears, but how she carries herself in the public domain, and TARA students are definitely stylish by that definition.                                                               
Keeping the sugar levels up with Kisses!

Oh, and HUGE shout out to all those involved in my farewell High Tea with a Manhattan Theme; cupcakes with Oreos on top, Red Velvet Cake, Hershey Kisses, Reece Peanut Butter cups, non-alcoholic Mojito Iced-Tea and bagels with cream cheese, of course!

Loved the Tiffany inspired decorations, with Audrey and the Manhattan skyline!

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