ISSUE 52 | March 2019
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I'm writing this in Newcastle.

Books in Homes received an invitation from Rotary District 9685 to exhibit as part of their Showcase at the District 9685 Conference, which has about 500 guests, some fantastic speakers, and a number of non-profit and charitable organisations that Rotary has supported in attendance. We're one of them. The Rotary Club of the Lower Blue Mountains, Rotary Club of Mt Gambier, Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise, Rotary Club of Penrith Valley, Rotary Club of Cherrybrook and Pennant Hills, and Rotary Club of St Mary's are our past and current Sponsors from that Rotary district that have funded and continue to fund several schools in the western suburbs of Sydney, regional NSW, as well as the Northern Territory, along with other Rotary Clubs and districts from other parts of Australia that support Books in Homes Community Projects. It's been great to meet many of those club members here at the NEX. What an amazingly friendly and generous group they are... so open to hearing about Books in Homes and the many children on the Program who have benefited from reading and keeping the books they've received, courtesy of Rotary. We've been invited to speak at several breakfast and evening meetings so the Rotary story will continue. Thanks, Rotary.

We also want to extend a great big thank you to Officeworks, Pitt Street, Sydney. Grant, the Manager, pledged $200 worth of stationery to Books in Homes, although this extended to $300 worth with no concerns from management when I did an urgent office supplies run last week to stock our depleted office cupboards. I couldn’t help myself and grabbed a few electronic gadgets as well! Grant wasn't there when I popped in but Justine, the Assistant Manager (pictured) was and she looked after us. Thanks, Officeworks, for your generosity. We really appreciate it.
Peter Large
Chief Executive Officer &
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees


Story contributed by Danny Lee, Books in Homes Trustee and Sponsor of Murputja Anangu Community School. Photos contributed to Kasey Ball, Teaching and Learning Coordinator and Books in Homes Coordinator, Murputja Ananagu Community School.

If you are trying to find a remote school participating in the Books in Homes Program look no further than the Murputja Anangu Community School. Situated in the far North West corner of South Australia, not far from where it intersects with the borders of both Western Australia and Northern Territory, it's a long drive from either Alice Springs or Adelaide with plenty of corrugated and dusty roads along the way.

As a long term Sponsor of the Program for babies through to primary kids I thought it was time to find out what remote education entailed and, with my partner Jane, I decided to attend the school's Book Giving ceremony.

A 700 kilometre drive from Alice Springs via Yulara and Uluru took in some spectacularly breathtaking scenery in a dry and arid landscape. There was plenty of wildlife to be seen with camels, goannas, horses, dingoes, kangaroos, and free range cattle wandering the plains.

We arrived at the school, which sat at the base of the Musgrave Ranges, neatly located between the two Indigenous communities it services—Nypari and Kanpi. The two communities have around 40 residences in total with the local shop and administrative services in Kanpi and the local clinic and renowned Indigenous art gallery in Nypari. The local landscape had been blackened by a bushfire earlier in the year which thankfully missed both communities and the school.

The school itself is unique in that it sits outside the communities, and each day the shuttle bus collects kids before school and drops them off at day's end. 

Jane and I were lucky enough to share a ride in the back of the bus to the communities on the afternoon of the first day in the school, with what could only be described as a "buzzing group" all eager to share a story about their adventures, which included chasing wild camels the previous evening.

Despite its remote location the school is fortunate to have permanent electricity and Internet connectivity rates that make the education experience remarkably good. The school is beautifully maintained and provides wonderful educational and recreational facilities for the 23 children currently enrolled. Classrooms are true educational havens, including a wonderfully stocked library. The school also had a fully functional kitchen, which was used primarily to support the nutritional program that provides breakfast, lunch and recess meals.

The students have a wide range of recreational facilities including playgrounds, covered basketball court and a mini AFL field made only of baked dirt and would test the resilience of any player. It didn't pass my notice that resilience was one of the key values of the school. 

The school teaching community is a mix of dedicated teachers and Aboriginal Education Workers (AEW). It's a real family affair with Principal Luke Carter, and his wife Cailin, the Early Childhood Family Centre teacher. They were supported by the Teaching and Learning Coordinator and Books in Homes Coordinator Kasey Ball and her husband Josh who taught the senior school students. These four remote warriors have been at the school for almost four years and in that time had developed a strong bond the with the children, which appeared to be wholeheartedly appreciated by the students and parents. The other primary school teacher on site was Minni who had only flown into the school that week. She was accompanied by her mum who had travelled from the Punjab, India to support her daughter and who was still coming to grips with the different environment.

Teachers were ably assisted by Astrid, whose husband is the local police officer, and who does everything from administrative support through to providing the catering and doing some impromptu carpentry on Ceremony Day.

The role of the AEWs is pivotal in the provision of quality education, as they provide the cultural awareness and communications bridge to ensure students and teachers are engaged and maximise the outcomes of the education process. To that end, Therese, Joseph, Serena, Kani, Celena and Tanya need to be roundly congratulated for their input into what is a safe and welcoming community environment.

We were hosted at the school for two nights in very comfortable converted dongas, which were  'little oases in the middle of the desert'.

The Booking Giving Assembly was incorporated into Harmony Day celebrations and an enormous amount of planning came to fruition.

Before the ceremonies started, Jane and I were privileged to sit in classes and actively participate in lessons. For some reason my bald head became the centre of attention and I was subject to a constant head massage.

Jane participated in the class with early childhood students and was chuffed with both play and life skills being embraced as part of the kids' lesson.

I realised just how remote the school was when I had to play postman and wait for the mail  plane to make its weekly delivery at the airport, which had a herd of camels as the only other spectators. That was followed with a visit to the local General Store which services both communities and relies on twice weekly supply deliveries. The bus from Alice Springs operates on a similar timetable. The harshness of the community was reflected by Kanpi families having no water for the two days we were there due to marauding camels damaging their bore pump.

The day turned into a rich cultural experience with the students, family and educators enjoying a range of activities. Everyone had access to a plethora of computer images and photographs, which they were able to use in the construction of family trees and also family photo albums. 

With the local Nypari community being home to famed Indigenous artist Theresa Baker and many of her equally skilled cohorts, it was inevitable  that some students and families chose to represent their family history in art form. The works of all ages was simply amazing!

A highlight of the day was a traditional storytelling ceremony conducted by a member of the local community. 

The Book Giving Assembly was very rewarding, especially when many of the kids picked up their BBQ lunch and then their book bags and read their books munching away at their sandwiches. Those actions in themselves made me realise why I enjoy being a Sponsor of the Program.

I would like to thank the entire school and local community for presenting us with a unique experience that will be fondly remembered. Hopefully this initial remote sojourn will be the impetus for me to visit the other school I sponsor—the Dawul Community, which is 150 kilometres south east of Kununurra in Western Australia. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Danny Lee has been a long time supporter of Books in Homes, and is back as a Trustee of this great charity.

Above (top): Danny Lee (back row) with the students of Murputja Anangu Community School.
Above: A student engrossed in one of her books-of-choice.
Sponsor: Glencore
Location: Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Townsville, Qld, and various locations around Australia
What does Glencore do?
Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies, which produces and processes natural resources at the heart of society’s many essential products and services. In Australia, Glencore’s agriculture, coal, copper, nickel, technology and zinc businesses span five States and one Territory, employing almost 21,000 people. 

How long has Glencore been supporting Books in Homes Australia? 
Glencore has been supporting Books in Homes since 2007. That's an extraordinary 11+ years!

What schools does Glencore sponsor?
Glencore sponsors eight schools in North West and North Queensland. They are: Camooweal State School, Cloncurry State School, Dajarra State School, Healy State School, Mount Isa Central State School, St Joseph's School Cloncurry, Sunset State School, and Townview State School.

Glencore is a global natural resource company that believes in the power of education. That’s why we support the Books in Homes program.
Maryann Wipaki, GM HSEC, Glencore North Queensland

Name: Matthew Lin
Location: Central Coast, NSW
Job: Illustrator / Graphic Novelist

What part of your work most interests you?
The variety—being a freelancer I’m constantly being surprised by what requests turn up in my email.

How did you choose your career path? 
My aunty was a graphic designer. I remember doing some work experience in her studio and thought I like this… I like this a lot!

Who has inspired you most in life? Why?
Various people during various moments of my life. I find this constantly changes as I do. If it was movies… well I could give you a list!!

What did you most enjoy about school?
School seems so long ago. Overall I had a good experience at both primary and secondary school… at the end of it all, the friends made and seeing how some have gone onto great things! (can I name drop? Okay… Shaun Gladwell for one!).

What did you hate most about school? 
Detention… it wasn’t much fun… getting my bronze medallion for swimming, I think it was treading water for 10 minutes in my pyjamas and having the teacher constantly yell, "Get away from the edge of the pool!!!"

What advice would you give your 10-year old self?
Keep drawing and playing… actually nothing. I’d rather give my 18-year-old or 24-year-old self advice!

What three children’s books were your favourites when you were at school?
Tintin, Choose Your Own Adventure books, and there was a book that had two medieval stick figures fighting at the beginning. As the book went on there were more and more stick people fighting… I wish I could remember the title! Can anyone help on this?

What would you take to a desert island?
A hammock, blow-up swimming pool to collect rain water, and an axe or machete—you know so I can crack open coconuts and make a log raft!

And just for fun, choose your preference below:
Lions, tigers or bears (oh my!)? Bears! Polar bears, Especially armoured polar bears, like the bears in The Golden Compass!
Jelly babies or jelly snakes? Jelly snakes—the big python ones as they have blue in them!!
Spring, summer, autumn or winter? All of them!!!! I like all of them equally.
Tennis or cricket? Tennis! Cricket is boring to me.
Passionfruit or mangoes? Mangos. Passionfruit is still good though… close!
Ghosts or goblins? Goblins, they’re naughty!!
Planes, trains or automobiles? Planes… especially low flying military planes! FLY BY!!!
Harry Potter, Hermione Granger or Ron Weasley? Hands down Hermione! The other two… they’re okay…
Fantasy or sci-fi? Definitely fantasy. Aragorn son of Arathorn! Huzzah!
Running or yoga? Fifty fifty on this one… but if you had sword fighting…
PHOTO CREDIT (Top): Tom Marchese
A big SHOUT OUT goes out to Melbourne-based illustrator and Role Model Craig Smith who, while on holiday in the Top End, went out of his way to drive 235 kilometres (approx. 3 hours) south west of Darwin to attend the Book Giving Assembly at Woolianna School on the Daly River. Thanks, Craig, for doing such a stellar job and making a great connection with the students and staff of Woolianna. 
The name 'Wendy' was made up by author J M Barrie for the book Peter Pan. There was never a recorded Wendy before that. And speaking of Peter Pan, before the author died, he bequeathed all the rights of that book to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London. Even today, that hospital still collects money from copies of Peter Pan that are sold, which contributes to the running costs. (CLICK HERE for more information on the copyright of Peter Pan.)
Fun Book Facts have been contributed by our resident researcher, Role Model and emerging author, Rachel Armstrong, who is located in Townsville, Qld. You can read more about Rachel here:
I read My Brother Jack by George Johnston as a teenager. It is an Australian classic that drew me into the impact of war on our soldiers and their families and communities. It made me question what is a hero and the cruelty and futility of war.
Submitted by Susanne Gervay OAM, Children’s and Young Adult author and member of our Books in Homes Book Selection Committee.
Thank you to all the individuals and schools who entered the LENNY AND THE ANTS COMPETITION that was published in last month's edition of The Bridge. The answer to the question was: Jessica Chapnik Kahn and Matthew Martin.

Congratulation to the five winners. They are:  
  1. Riley Swan, Taree Public School, NSW
  2. Lucas Hotchin, Tibooburra Outback Public School, NSW
  3. Majdaleen Fatfat, Broadmeadows Primary School, Vic
  4. Dakota Somerfield, Tibooburra Outback Public School, NSW
  5. Manu Fagaitua, Broadmeadows Primary School, Vic
Keep an eye out for further exciting competitions in future issues of The Bridge.
The April 2019 image was illustrated by Taylor R
(Age 10) from Carole Park State School, Qld.

CLICK on the image above to download the calendar page.
Provided courtesy of Mainfreight.

FEATURE ARTICLE: Murputja Anangu Adventure!
Please help us raise raise funds in the 
Books in Homes GIANTS Greater Western Sydney Campaign,
which aims to identify and fund primary schools in Western and South Western Sydney that would benefit from being on the Program. 
Help us raise $2,000 so we can send additional donated books, magazines and gifts to children on the Program.
Welcome to new Role Model Danielle Barnes who is a Shift Manager at Mingara Recreational Club and a Singer.
Welcome to new Role Model Kirsty Channon who is the District Officer Mid Coast Rural Fire Service.
Welcome to new Role Model Elsa Cherlin who is a Storyville Storyteller and Actor.
Welcome to new Role Model Esther Fwati who is a Storyville Storyteller and Actor.
Welcome to new Role Model Terry Hansen who is Comedian, Actor, Writer and Radio Announcer.
Welcome to new Role Model Elizabeth Hay who is Storyville Storyteller and Actor.
Welcome to new Role Model Theresa Jude who is a Librarian at Lachlan Shire Library at Condoblin.
If you have a good news story about your Book Giving Assemblies and your partnership with Books in Homes Australia then please CLICK THIS LINK  to email THE BRIDGE editor for submission information.
If you are a Books in Homes Role Model and you are celebrating a great coup like a book or product launch, an award, an anniversary or another achievement, and want to be included in the "SHOUT OUT!" column, then please CLICK THIS LINK to email THE BRIDGE editor for submission information.
If you would like to share a story in our "THE BOOK THAT CHANGED ME" column, then please CLICK THIS LINK to email THE BRIDGE editor for submission guidelines.

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The Charitable Foundation for Books in Homes Australia · 1767 Botany Road · Banksmeadow, NSW 2019 · Australia

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