A MAGIC TOUCH

Aus­tralia’s favourite il­lu­sion­ist vis­its Cun­na­mulla com­mu­nity

Western Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jorja McDon­nell jorja.mcdon­nell@west­ern­starnews.com

MA­GI­CIAN Cosentino did more than per­form tricks dur­ing his time in town, de­liv­er­ing a mov­ing speech to more than 200 peo­ple from through­out the re­gion.

Fo­cus­ing on lit­er­acy and his own jour­ney through child­hood with learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, the show­man en­cour­aged kids to work hard at chas­ing their dreams.

CUN­NA­MULLA ex­pe­ri­enced a touch of magic last week, with a visit from Aus­tralia’s own il­lu­sion­ist and es­capol­o­gist, Cosentino.

As well as the thrilling tricks, he en­light­ened the au­di­ence with an­other kind of magic – sto­ry­telling.

In a mo­ti­va­tional speech to stu­dents and com­mu­nity mem­bers from Charleville, Cun­na­mulla and Thar­go­min­dah, Cosentino shared his ex­pe­ri­ences of grow­ing up with his own learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties, but still go­ing ahead to achieve his dreams.

Tammy Hickey, of Cun­na­mulla Li­brary, said he was an in­spi­ra­tional man.

“He spoke about the learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties he had grow­ing up and how he learned to read by go­ing to the li­brary and check­ing out magic books.

“When he could show his par­ents what he’d learned from read­ing the books, he felt proud of what he’d done.

“You could see that not only the kids, but the whole

com­mu­nity was in­spired.”

More than a per­for­mance, Cosentino trav­elled west to show the value of lit­er­acy, Ms Hickey said.

“It wasn’t a magic show as such; the magic came out of his mouth in the way he mo­ti­vated and en­cour­aged every­one.

“There’s not only kids who have trou­ble read­ing, there’s adults as well.”

Off the back of his speech, peo­ple were lin­ing up in the li­brary to get their hands on Cosentino’s books.

His chil­dren’s ti­tles are some of the most pop­u­lar in the li­brary, and are help­ing to fo­cus on read­ing through teach­ing card tricks, the same way Cosentino him­self mas­tered read­ing.

“They are very pop­u­lar here.

“There’s a lot of kids who have short con­cen­tra­tion spans, and th­ese get them sit­ting down, read­ing, and in­tensely con­cen­trat­ing on learn­ing the tricks,” Ms Hickey said.

“It’s a win-win sit­u­a­tion for us.

“He also has his own au­to­bi­og­ra­phy out called

Any­thing is Pos­si­ble and it’s about the same things he talked about here.

“It’ll no doubt be very in­spi­ra­tional.”

Get­ting the master ma­gi­cian out to Cun­na­mulla was no easy feat.

Ms Hickey said a great deal of work went on be­hind the scenes to make the event a spe­cial one for the com­mu­nity.

“Cun­na­mulla State School, Project Hope, Sa­cred Heart School, RESQ, Cun­na­mulla Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion for Health, Rex Air­lines, Pa­roo Shire Coun­cil and The South Dubbo Ro­tary Club all hand a hand in this.

“Rex do­nated his flights to come out west and the Ro­tary do­nated $1500 when they came through here on a rally, which we are ex­tremely grate­ful for and hum­bled by.

“It was a to­tally un­ex­pected ges­ture and it def­i­nitely couldn’t have hap­pened with­out the sup­port of all those peo­ple.”

It well and truly paid off for the small com­mu­ni­ties, who turned out in force.

“The shire hall was filled to ca­pac­ity.

“I think there were 250 kids alone, plus two bus-loads from Thar­go­min­dah, an­other from Charleville and one from Wyan­dra too.”

Most of all, the ma­gi­cian’s visit had spe­cial mean­ing to Ms Hickey and the li­brary.

“It was about what he could do in our com­mu­nity, it was all about ed­u­ca­tion and lit­er­acy.”

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

LIV­ING HIS DREAM: Cosentino per­formed in Cun­na­mulla last Wed­nes­day.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

NOW YOU SEE HIM: The ma­gi­cian Cosentino spoke in Cun­na­mulla last Wed­nes­day.

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