Writ­ing the wrongs

Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Smith

A DE­SIRE to tackle dis­crim­i­na­tion and per­se­cu­tion has helped a Willetton teenager claim one of the most pres­ti­gious lit­er­a­ture awards in the state.

Kate Gra­ham was named joint win­ner of the Tim Win­ton Award for Young Writ­ers for her short story The Colour Red, about a young Jewish girl’s en­counter with Nazi sol­diers dur­ing the Holo­caust.

The Willetton Se­nior High School stu­dent said she wanted the story to tackle the sys­tem­atic op­pres­sion of groups within so­ci­ety and was in­spired by her fas­ci­na­tion with Naziera Ger­many.

“The lessons of his­tory have clearly not yet been learnt, as many sim­i­lar events have oc­curred since the Holo­caust ended. Even now, at this very mo­ment, peo­ples such as the Ro­hingya in Myan­mar are be­ing per­se­cuted be­cause of their race,” she said.

The Year 10 stu­dent said peo­ple needed to speak out against dis­crim­i­na­tion, oth­er­wise it would grow.

“Dis­crim­i­na­tion doesn’t al­ways take the form of Nazis openly bran­dish­ing guns and is of­ten sub­tler. It is a mat­ter of con­cern when cer­tain mem­bers of the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment en­cour­age the abuse and off­shore de­ten­tion of asylum seek­ers who are sim­ply ex­er­cis­ing their right granted to them in the UN’s Universal Dec­la­ra­tion of Hu­man Rights,” she said.

“We all hold the power to call out those in power and hold them ac­count­able for their ac­tions.”

Kate said she was hon­oured to have re­ceived the award and had been an avid reader and writer since a young age.

“I re­fused to read nonfiction books as a young child be­cause I was so fas­ci­nated by the worlds that fic­tion can cre­ate,” she said.

“Writ­ing was sim­ply an ex­ten­sion of this, as I wanted to ex­plore those new worlds for my­self.”

Kate Gra­ham with ac­claimed au­thor Tim Win­ton.

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