This week we had the pleasure of being joined by the senior students from Tiwi College who, thanks to the fantastic work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, travelled over 3000km to spend a week here in Sydney to work with author John Danalis, as well as our staff, in producing a wonderful book “Bangs 2 Jurrukuk”.
This project kicked off back in July, when a group from the Australian publishing industry and the ILF travelled north to the Tiwi Islands, 80km north of Darwin. This group included our author John Danalis who was involved along with Andy Griffiths & Leonie Norrington in delivering literacy sessions, working with over 200 children across three schools.
When John went to Tiwi he took five owls with him as props, but when he left the islands it was with the beginning of a story developed by the senior girls at Tiwi College.
Rather than let the story end there however, it was decided to turn it into a book, which is why last Saturday nine girls from Tiwi College set off with teachers on the long journey to join us in Sydney and bring the book together!
They faced some long days writing with John, pulling together the outline and contents of the book, then working with publisher Anna and designer Lisa, as well as our marketing and publicity teams, to learn the ins and outs of bringing a book to fruition.
Outside of that, they were introduced to the sights of Sydney such as the Opera House and Taronga Zoo, were welcomed to the Facebook offices, NITV studios, Belvoir Theatre, Kinokuniya bookshop and Monte Sant Angelo’s school.
And, after a week of hard work, this morning they launched the book!
In front of video cameras (with NITV recording a feature), pupils from a Monte Sant Angelo’s and a room full of our staff we celebrated the book, along with the fantastic work of the girls and the ILF.
Everyone was touched by the experiences the girls had in Sydney, and particularly when they gave us a reading from the book. Our CEO Robert summing it up nicely:
Wow! What a wonderful book launch we just had on the Terrace. The nine young women from the Tiwi Islands moved everyone in the room as they proudly read their published story. I want to offer huge thanks to staff for the skill and passion they have shown all week with the girls. The large number of staff who were up on the Terrace this morning shows how much we enjoy helping young people realise their potential.
With John saying
I’m over the moon with how seriously the girls have worked – they are the most wonderful young ladies. It’s been an absolute blessing to work with them
A huge thanks must go to everyone who made this week happen, both at the ILF and Tiwi College, as well as our staff who dealt with the mad deadlines wonderfully!
And an even bigger thanks must go to the pupils of Tiwi College, who have enriched the lives of many during their time here, and will enrich far more when their book about Bang has spread its wings and landed in the hands of others!