Thursday, June 19, 2008

Melbourne Writers Festival

I'll be at the Melbourne Writers Festival on 22 and 23 August. More details will be available shortly, but I'll be presenting two workshops as well as appearing on an industry panel.

More details on the Melbourne Writers Festival website.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Queer Collaborations: Freedoms are won, not given

I am delighted to have been asked to deliver the plenary address to the 2008 Queer Collaborations conference "Freedoms are won, not given" at Melbourne University 3 July, 2008.

The conference runs from 1 to 4 July. I'll be talking about union actions in support of the struggle for equality for gays and lesbians, an issue that I have been involved in since 1973 (see other postings on this blog). The photo of me below is from that time.

You can read more about this and my involvement in the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Overland 191, now available in all good bookshops.
For more details of the Queer Collaborations conference, email

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Authors in Priority Schools Program report

The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) Authors in Priority Schools pilot project involved the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), the Priority Schools Programs of the NSW Department of Education and Training (PSP) and the English Unit, Curriculum Directorate of the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET). A report on the project is available on the ASA website (

The report demonstrates that:
• The Authors in Priority Schools project was highly regarded by students, teachers, parents and the authors
• Students’ positive attitudes to reading improved
• Students’ positive attitudes to writing improved
• Teachers gained useful knowledge from the project
• Teachers found the workshops useful in developing materials and strategies for engaging students
• Teachers valued the insights gained from observing an author workshop narrative
• All teachers agreed that the students’ attitudes and engagement had improved.
• Anecdotal comments indicated that participants agreed that the outcomes for the project were achieved. Comments to support these findings included: “Overall, the project has been a great success with tangible improvement in interest, engagement and writing skills of students … Students were extremely proud of their achievements ...(The) staff felt that they were given good ideas”.