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Thursday 18 July, 4pm – 6pm
Pansy Wood Centre, Whitsunday Anglican School
Presented by Michael Gerard Bauer
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.
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Friday 19 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 Li Cunxin.
Li Cunxin's journey is simply remarkable. He was born into utter poverty in Mao's Communist China and selected, at the age of ten, to train
at Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy. Seven years of stringent training at the Beijing Academy taught him discipline,
resilience and perseverance. Li's astounding drive and work-ethic made him one of the best dancers in the world.
In 1995 Li moved with his wife Mary McKendry to Melbourne, where he made a successful career transition from ballet into finance. He was a
senior manager at Bell Potter, one of the largest stockbroking firms in Australia, Councilor of the Australian Council for the Arts, and
has served on the boards of the Bionics Institute and The Australian Ballet.
Li was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2008 by the Australian Catholic University for his contribution to dance and literature. In 2009 he
was named the Australian Father of the Year and in 2014 was the Queensland finalist for the Australian of the Year award.
PLUS Enjoy a delicious three-course meal and dance along to the music of popular local band, Stage Five!
"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.