Author an open book
NEWTON Primary School students have received a crash course in book writing after receiving a visit from award-winning author Mark Greenwood.
The Spearwood school hosted the historical writer, who has published books on icons such as Ned Kelly, Simpson and his donkey and Moondyne Joe, last month.
Greenwood ran a workshop with year 5 and 6 students to help them develop a picture book based around the shipwreck of the Stefano on Ningaloo Reef in 1875.
There were just two survivors of the shipwreck, who were rescued by two Aboriginal groups, understood to be the Jinigudira and Baijungu groups, and nursed back to health for several months.
Newton Primary School deputy principal Liz Efthyvoulos said she had been a fan of Greenwood’s work for some time and the students benefited greatly from his tutelage.
“I have used Mark’s books for more than a decade as springboards into historical literacy in my classrooms. I love his style of writing and I could see the story of the Stefano being retold in a similar fashion,” she said.
“Our students love to write and I wanted to help them solve a writing problem - how to make this very interesting story readable and accessible.
“I also believe that it is a beautiful story of kindness and care, regardless of the language barrier, and attests to the Indigenous spirit.”
Greenwood said he had enjoyed showing the process of composing and piecing together a story.
“A lot of kids see the end result of books but they don’t see the thinking, planning, researching, ideas and how those ideas formulate, so that’s what I’m trying to show,” he said.
“I always hope that some of these kids will become our authors of the future. Some of them might go away from today and think ‘I’ve got another idea’.”
Author Mark Greenwood with Newton Primary School students.