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Yale Writers’ Workshop

Important messages need stories told well.

Our principal, Dr Kelleher, thought the ideas of her PhD might be best told to children. So, acceptance into the Yale Writers’ Workshop was a chance to play with this.

A children’s picture book may be a far cry from her doctoral thesis: ‘The Impact of Regulatory Change on Entrepreneurial Opportunity: The Native Title Act’ & Indigenous Entrepreneurship’. How could children access such a topic?

Conveying deep injustice to children requires great skill. But, hope for change may rest there far more than in yet another textbook on a library shelf. If children were only taught the true facts, surely the need to constantly remind adults of Aboriginal culture and its power for good for all Australians would not exist.

The wonderful successful writers who gave their expertise in recent days opened up expanses of knowledge.

Children need truth told hopefully. Adolescence, as well as early childhood, is a time when there is openness to change. The story is a three act story of climax points and dramatic choices, with the hero making moral choices along the way. These hero stories fit within the context of ancient mythologies of all cultures.  In writing, the author must dig deep into their own personal emotions. Finally, ‘story trumps all’. It’s more important than advocacy, passion or any social justice cause.

Dr Kelleher is now on a very short sabbatical attempting, in far too short a time, to finish her children’s writing.

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