On the 20 March students and staff from Yirara College and members of the wider community celebrated the launch of The Yirara Mix Book, a book of stories and poetry written and illustrated by a young group of students boarding at Yirara College and coming from remote communities in the NT and WA.
In 2014 Yirara College entered a partnership with the Pamela Loft’s Bequest for Literacy and Learning. This came about from a generous bequest from the estate of Pamela Lofts (well known illustrator of ‘Wombat Stew’) to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF).
A mentoring programme was set up to give promising young writers the opportunity to work with established authors in order to foster confidence and see the possibilities that can arise from their writing and story-telling abilities.
The book was launched by award-winning poet Ali Cobby Eckermann, who along with Lionel Fogarty and Lorna Munro led the workshops with the students.
The launch took place at the Alice Springs Public Library, whereby the students took turns in reading their short stories and poems – from the sombre ‘The Dark Dream’ by Melton Armstrong of Jay Creek to the uplifting ‘God’s Children’ by Crystella Campbell from Robinson River. Finally they read together a group poem, ‘Jealousy’ which roused much laughter, cheering and clapping.
The young authors then took their time chatting, selling and signing their books. For more information on how to get your hands on The Yirara Mix Book contact Yirara College on 08 8950 5644.