This past week our team travelled around 3000km out to Kalgoorlie to launch a new songbook, Hello, Hello, with its young authors from Laverton, Menzies, and Tjuntjuntjara Remote community schools.
Throughout 2018, twelve students from these remote communities met in Tjuntjuntjara to take part in the third Spinifex Writing Camp, ready and excited to put their ideas into a new book.
Working with illustrator Ann James and ‘music-man’ Chris Aitken, the students worked for a week to produce a series of songs and illustrations that reflected their lives and communities. And this week, they had the chance to launch their final book!
Safe from the hot Kalgoorlie sun under the cola at East Kalgoorlie Public School, the budding authors, along with lots of students from local schools came together to share the story.
Starting off with an introduction from Tjuntjuntjara Principal Charlie Klein and ILF Program Director Tina Raye, the audience was abuzz with excitement to see the book and hear the song!
After a lovely Acknowledgement of Country, given by a local student, ambassador Ann James talked about the writing and illustrating of the book, showing everything from the very first illustrations drawn with charcoal, the work completed by star designer Lee Burgemeestre to the very final copy.
With spooky illustrations of shadows, emu and dingo tracks, and no idea of what might be out there in the dark, everyone was on the edge of their seats, before the audience stole the show singing the Hello, Hello song with Chris Aitken with gusto!
At the end of the launch, our talented authors sat down to sign their book, and were faced with a huge line of people eager to receive a signature – signing over 50 copies!
It was a fantastic end to the morning, as students and teachers left beaming with their beautiful new book, signed by the fantastic students involved in its creation.
Hello, Hello will be available for purchase in March 2020.