Ovens & Murray Advertiser

Defining the Aussie identity

■ Competitio­n gives students chance to contribute to special event

- BY CORAL COOKSLEY ccooksley@nemedia.com.au

SECONDARY students around Indigo Shire have the chance to contribute to a first-time memorial charity event being held as a tribute to the late Ian Jones through a writing competitio­n where prizes will presented by renowned commentato­r and author, Peter FitzSimons.

Event patron Mr FitzSimons, who dedicated his own book on the infamous Ned Kelly to Ian Jones, will be among guest speakers at the special occasion organised by the ‘Friends of the Burke Museum’ on Saturday, March 19.

The competitio­n has also been organised by the Friends group as part of the tribute.

As a proud Australian, through his work in journalism, film, television and the recording of Australian history, Mr Jones had contribute­d to the definition of the ‘Australian Identity’ - the memorial event’s title - as well being recognised as a leading authority on the Ned Kelly story.

The challenge for students who live in the shire is to capture what the Australian identity means in 500 words with entries mailed to friendsbur­kemuseum@gmail.com.

Entries close on Friday, March 11 and winners will be notified five days later.

Prizes for one male and one female student include a $100 Beechworth Books voucher as well as tickets for the winner to all Saturday sessions of the event as well as a ticket for one parent to join them at a semi-formal dinner at the Hotel Nicholas.

‘Friends of the Burke Museum’ president, Kate Sutherland said the competitio­n’s aim is to engage students in a significan­t event that acknowledg­ed Mr Jones’ substantia­l contributi­on to Beechworth’s cultural life.

“Mr Jones had also made a significan­t contributi­on to Australian film and television and the Arts,” she said.

“Secondary students are members of our community and their personal perspectiv­es will be valued.”

“Inviting them to contribute through a writing competitio­n will be a way of expressing their ideas and opinions through creative writing,” she said.

Ms Sutherland said the competitio­n is planned to be part of an annual future event.

Tickets for the event sessions: ‘A Tribute to Ian Jones’ at Beechworth’s Town Hall to be held from 3pm to 4.30pm, ‘Meet and Greet” at the Burke Museum from 4.30pm to 5.30pm as well as a semi-formal dinner at Hotel Nicholas at 7pm for a 7.30pm start can be purchased from the Beechworth Visitors Informatio­n Centre at 103 Ford Street.

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