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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.
Despite living in different cities, they 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 the Boy vs Beast series, D-Bot Squad and Zac Power Test Drives, all under the pseudonym Mac Park.
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.
Book online at

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 Jennifer Byrne.

Jennifer Byrne started her career in journalism at a young age as a Cadet Journalist with The Age newspaper in Melbourne. At the age of 23, she was posted to California as The Age’s youngest-ever Foreign Correspondent.

In 1981, Jennifer moved to Sydney as Founding Reporter with Channel Nine’s Sunday program and five years later, joined the reporting team at 60 Minutes. In 1993, she became the morning presenter of ABC’s Radio 2BL and in 1995, was appointed Publishing Director of Reed Books.
In 1999, having spent a couple of years as Stand-in Presenter for both ABC-TV’s 7.30 Report and Lateline, Jennifer took up the anchor’s job at Foreign Correspondent, and spent five years as Host and Reporter, travelling with the program. She also continued to write features and book reviews, and regularly hosted Radio National’s Breakfast program.
Jennifer moved on from Foreign Correspondent in 2003 to join The Bulletin magazine as a Senior Writer, working on a weekly column, for which she won several national awards. In May 2006 she developed and launched a new book program, the ABC Book Club, along with a series of literary specials and interviews featuring such international guests as J.K.Rowling, Bill Bryson and Ian McEwan, and local authors including Tim Winton, Helen Garner and kids favourite Andy Griffiths.
She wrapped the programme after 11 successful years and continues to work in print, with regular appearances in leading newspaper and travel magazines. This year, Jennifer year took on the role of Patron of Coastrek, which has raised some $20 million for the Fred Hollows Foundation to fight preventable blindness. She is also a long-time Ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Programme, a private sector initiative providing scholarships for young Indigenous students to attend leading Australian schools and universities. 
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.