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LitChat Event

Brought to you by:

Thursday 19 July, 4pm – 6pm
Pansy Wood Centre, Whitsunday Anglican School

Presented by Susannah McFarlane and Louise Park


This event is a must for teachers, librarians and parents who want practical advice that can be used either in the classroom or at home, to help students develop their reading skills.
Earn Professional Development points and be entertained! (Certificates will be issued at the event.)
Susannah and Louise have collaborated to co-author fantasy-action books aimed at getting reluctant readers, often boys, hooked on reading. They have authored under the name of Mac Park the widely read Boy vs Beast series, as well as the D-Bot Squad.
 Susannah and Louise live in different cities and have worked together over 10 years, largely using technology (Skype) to brainstorm and build their stories together. They come from different perspectives: Louise’s background is literacy and educational publishing while Susannah’s is trade publishing, branding and marketing. Together they have created some of Australia’s most read books, including Zac Power Test Drive.
Susanah and Louise have never been at a Festival together and are looking forward to doing a “double act” for Whitsunday Voices!


Bookings are essential. Tickets $40, includes refreshments

Ph: 4969 2076 or email [email protected]

With thanks to the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association

WorkPac Literary Dinner

Brought to you by:

Friday 20 July, 6:30 pm until late
Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre

The Festival culminates in the WorkPac Literature Dinner, held on the final night of the Festival. This celebratory event provides an opportunity for guests to meet the authors in a relaxed environment, and to be entertained by guest speaker Leigh Sales.


Leigh Sales is an award-winning author and journalist at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and currently anchors the prime time flagship program 7.30.

From 2001 to 2005, she was the ABC's Washington Correspondent, covering stories including the aftermath of September 11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2004 Presidential election and Hurricane Katrina. From 2006 to 2008, Leigh was the ABC's National Security Correspondent, before becoming the anchor of Lateline.

In 2005, Leigh won a Walkley Award, Australia's highest journalism honour, for her coverage of Guantanamo Bay and the case of David Hicks. In 2012 Leigh was again presented the prestigious Walkley Award for best interviews for her work on 7.30. She's the author of two books, Detainee 002 is her first book. Her second book, On Doubt, was published in 2009 and a second edition was released in 2017 with an updated section about the Trump post-truth era. Her third book will be published in 2018.

She co-hosts a wildly popular culture podcast with her friend Annabel Crabb called Chat 10, Looks 3 about books television, films and cooking.


PLUS Enjoy a delicious three-course meal and dance along to the music of Redtie, a hugely popular Brisbane-based 4-piece band, who are determined to get you up and dancing!

Tickets are $150pp. 

Bookings are essential

Call the MECC ON 07 4961 9777 or visit


"Each July local educators receive a charge of creative energy from the authors of the Voices Festival. The annual LitChat event, formerly known as the Educators' Forum, is undoubtedly a professional development highlight for teachers of language, literacy and literature. Every LitChat over the years has been memorable. Jackie French told stories of pesky wombats. Isabelle Carmody described her writing space in Prague. Mem Fox mastered the 'read aloud'. John Marsden spoke of a school without staff rooms. Carol Wilkinson explained the importance of finding the story in history. Narelle Oliver and Emma Quay showed the importance of the visuals. Morris Gleitzman advocated that even the young be given the opportunity to explore big issues. Andy Griffiths linked laughter to literacy. Each visiting author shared their tips on how to encourage readers and to guide emerging writers and illustrators, but they also gave an insight into the creative process. They reminded educators to provide an environment of words and wonder, as 2016 visiting poet, Harry Laing said, 'to open up a space where students can walk their imagination.'"

Sue Hamilton-Smith, ALEA QLD State Director and Master Teacher, Fitzgerald State School.