In late October this year we held our Create Initiative for the very first time in Darwin and for the first time since 2019.
Nine students from Tiwi College travelled over in a ferry from the Tiwi Islands to meet with ILF Ambassadors Shelley Ware and David Lawrence at Charles Darwin University where they participated in a three day workshop. The workshop was mentored by David and Shelley as well as a publisher, editor and designer from Hardie Grant.
“Our role is to encourage and support the girls to create the best story they can, in a short time period” says ILF Ambassador David Lawrence.
The initiative resulted in a beautiful children’s book, titled Tiwi Seasons with Marius. It’s about a father and son that visit the Tiwi Islands for 12 months and experience all three seasons. The main character, Marius, was named after one of the founders of Tiwi College and in real life, Marius is very excited that he is featured in the book.
ILF Ambassador Shelley Ware says, “It’s a lot of fun and a nice way to learn about the seasons on Tiwi island and it's going to have some laughs in there, we are looking forward to everyone reading it”.
Day one of the program involved a big brainstorming session about the three different Tiwi seasons, creating the characters, including main character Marius, and drafting the story.
The second day the students were busy editing and finalising the story on laptops in small groups. The afternoon was spent working on illustrations using art foam. Each student worked on an illustration for each page.
The final day involved fixing up illustrations, deciding the book's title and discussing what the book will look like when it is pulled together with both the text and illustrations.
The book was printed in A3 format so that the students could view their work before they hopped on a ferry back to the Tiwi islands.
The Create Initiative's aim is to build capacity, confidence and skills with young First Nations peoples in the creation of stories for print.
“You get to see them evolve as a writer. They start off really nervous and a bit shy and by the end of it they're throwing out ideas and they’ve become real authors and it's exciting to see them and the pride that they have at the end” says ILF Ambassador Shelley Ware.
Thank you to Shelley and David for sharing so generously their skills, knowledge and time, facilitating and mentoring the students.