The Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival has closed the book for another year, with authors from near and far returning home after offering their talent and passion to the Geraldton community.
The 17th year of festivities was another success and reflected the theme of this year’s festival and the Greek phrase ‘to see a beautiful form’, Kaleidoscope.
The festival began with an opening night at the Geraldton Regional Library, attendees were treated to food and drink while listening to special guest authors, Holden Sheppard, Amanda Bridgeman, Emily Brugman, Brooke Dunnell and Michael Trant.
Geraldton-born author Sheppard discussed his development as a young author, including a 30-minute rejection phone call from a publicist, and how he learned to use his personal experience to create powerful writing .
“That call forced me to write something real, and that’s where my experience at Geraldton came into play with Invisible Boys,” he said.
Tracey Snowball received the Big Sky Short Story Award for 2022, beating five other finalists, to receive $500 cash and VIP access to the festival.
Highlights included the opening night of the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, featuring the Town Hall 1907-1984 exhibit and the Banksia Ball 50th Anniversary exhibit.
The Old Town Hall was covered in historic footage of events captured over the years, many of which were donated by the Abdullah family.
The exhibit featured memorabilia from the 1972 Banksia Ball in Geraldton, a significant moment in Aboriginal history and a turning point in the struggle for rights.
Jill Abdullah said the art exhibit would not be possible without her family, including her father and indigenous rights activist George Abdullah. Ms Abdullah said she studied creative arts and used her family’s collection of documents to write a biography of her father.
“I have also found other ways to tell the story of Dad, who he worked with and who was involved in moving the social, economic and emotional impacts of yesteryear, resulting in the many benefits which we enjoy today,” she said. said.
Ms Abdullah said the Banksia Ball was a way for her father to bring differences together and create harmony in the community.
“Dad was passionate, committed, charismatic and energetic, which allowed him to do the things he loved. He was responsible for many things such as bringing the indigenous community closer to the non-indigenous community. This joint approach has enabled indigenous peoples to realize their aspirations for the future,” she said.
The exhibit includes historical newspaper articles, World War I and World War II history, and other historical pieces to reflect a time capsule that celebrates 150 years of local government in Geraldton. The Banksia Ball 50th anniversary exhibit was part of the Big Sky Readers and Writers Festival 2022.
The exhibition runs at the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery until November 20.