Au­thors tour the North West

Broome Advertiser - - Happenings - Carly Laden

Chil­dren across the Kim­ber­ley and Pil­bara re­gions got the chance to meet their lit­er­ary idols and en­hance their love for read­ing.

Au­thors Mered­ith Costain, Phil Ket­tle and il­lus­tra­tors Mar­jory Gard­ner and Marc McBride toured WA’s North West, lead­ing art and writ­ing work­shops on be­half of the Chil­dren’s Char­ity Net­work.

Along with run­ning an­nual writ­ing and il­lus­tra­tion awards for stu­dents, ti­tled Oz Kids, the net­work spon­sors work­ing au­thors and il­lus­tra­tors to visit re­mote com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try.

The group held work­shops in schools and li­braries in Lom­bad­ina, Bea­gle Bay and Broome be­fore ven­tur­ing to Port Hed­land, spon­sored by C D Dodd and Fortes­cue Met­als Group re­spec­tively.

Mar­jory Gard­ner said the work­shops were all about teach­ing chil­dren about where story ideas come from and get them ex­cited about books.

“We do try to en­cour­age kids to keep read­ing and I think meet­ing the au­thors of their favourite books would help en­cour­age them to keep read­ing,” she said.

“Good read­ing habits start at home, so we also want to en­cour­age the chil­dren to get their fam­i­lies to read with them.”

Marc McBride also men­tioned the work­shops were about giv­ing the chil­dren con­fi­dence as well.

“We also want to show them they are able to put them­selves out there if they keep work­ing at it,” he said. “We’re proof that we can make a liv­ing from art if that’s what they want to do and school is the best time to teach them that.

“Get­ting things pub­lished or put on dis­play cer­tainly spurs peo­ple on to keep do­ing it.

“I just try to teach them to keep try­ing; don’t ac­cept de­feat if your work is re­jected by one per­son, some­one else might en­joy it.”

Ket­tle said their vis­its to Lom­bad­ina and Bea­gle Bay were a high­light of their tour so far.

“Those two com­mu­ni­ties are prob­a­bly the best we have vis­ited in a long time,” he said.

“The chil­dren are so en­gaged and in­trigued. The teach­ers are bril­liant — it was an ab­so­lute plea­sure to work with them.

“Read­ing is the foun­da­tion of ed­u­ca­tion.”

Costain re­flected Ket­tle’s views and said the chil­dren were very en­thu­si­as­tic.

“It was nice to see them be­come more and more con­fi­dent with show­ing their work to their peers,” she said.

“Of­ten kids get a lit­tle too shy and afraid to get up in front of ev­ery­one, so it was great to see them be so con­fi­dent to share their work.

“We hope that the kids will con­tinue ex­plor­ing their cre­ative abil­i­ties.”

Pic­ture: Mar­jory Gard­ner

Marc McBride, Mered­ith Costain, Mar­jory Gard­ner and Phil Ket­tle with stu­dents and staff at Djarind­jin Lom­bad­ina Re­mote School.

Pic­ture: Carly Laden

Marc McBride, Mered­ith Costain, Mar­jory Gard­ner and Phil Ket­tle at Broome Pub­lic Li­brary.

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