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Greetings! Werte!

Our hearts go out to our fellow Australians undergoing the Victorian Covid-19 lockdown. Hopefully it will not go on too long—and we are thinking here of friends and family who cannot go to their local bookshop! Goes to show how fortunate we and our readers at Red Kangaroo Books have been over the past year. Let us know if you want us to post “book relief packs” to your Victorian mates.

After the recent release of Inga Simpson’s new book A history of Australian trees, it was great to meet up with the many adventurers coming off the Larapinta Trail in the past week. It included a bunch of students from John Marsden’s Candlebark School who had enjoyed a great time and expressed a strong interest in the central Australian environment.

Which brings us to:

World Environment Day

This coming Saturday marks World Environment Day—established in 1974 by the United Nations Environment Program to raise global awareness of the condition of our environment and the critical need to take action to protect it.
Forty-seven years on, and the need to protect the environment has never been more urgent. It’s been part of the Red Kangaroo Books story: in recent years our readers have taken an increasing interest in books about environmental issues, here in our beautiful central Australian country and beyond, we’ve listed a few of our favourites below.

Happy reading!

Bronwyn, John, Stephanie, Jo, Thor, Kelly Lee & Bernadette

Peace Prize

Statement from the Heart scores Peace Prize

Two books from Thomas Mayor—so popular with our readers—have been about the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a document which is in the news this week—big time!

The Uluru Statement from the Heart has been awarded the Sydney peace prize for 2021, four years after it was developed, with organisers saying time is up for the government to take action on the landmark statement.

The judging panel said the Uluru statement was a “powerful and historic offering of peace” that was crucial to the “healing within our nation”, but had not yet been acted upon.

On Wednesday, Territorian Aboriginal leader Pat Anderson co-accepted the award on behalf of everyone who worked on the statement, which was the result of years of consultation with thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Anderson, an Alyawarre woman, told Guardian Australia she was “incredulous” when she found out the statement had won, and that the award was for the group, not individuals.
“It’s a fantastic, amazingly wonderful thing to receive,” she said. “Noel, Megan and I are receiving it on behalf of all of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who attended the regional dialogues four years ago. It’s all their thinking. It’s all their work.”

Anderson said she hoped the award would bring more awareness to the 439-word statement, which she urged every Australian to read.

“We meaningfully and consciously gave the Uluru Statement from the Heart as a gift to the to the Australian people,” she said. “It’s a gift of healing. And indeed love. We don’t often like to use that word. But, you know, it’s a very, very emotional document.”

World Environment Picks!

Calling all young writers!

Calling all secondary school central Australian writers!
The 2021 Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers will open for submissions on Monday 7 June 2021.

The Prize aims to ignite passion for creative writing in the minds of Australia’s secondary school students, to encourage them to pursue writing and publishing opportunities inside and outside of the classroom, and provide the opportunity to hone their skills under the guidance of some of Australia’s favourite authors.

Writing excellence is recognised in three categories: FictionCreative Nonfiction and Poetry with a winner and shortlist of five selected from each category. The Prize is open to Australian secondary school-aged students across the nation and entries can include writing for readers of any age. 

The 15 shortlisted writers will receive book packs, masterclasses and mentorship from an established author. In 2021, the Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers Mentor is Danielle Binks

The prize winner in each category will receive $500 courtesy of Hachette Australia, publication of their work on the Express Media website, plus their names and an acknowledgement printed in Voiceworks, Australia’s premier youth literary journal.
The prize is judged by representatives from Hachette Australia and Express Media

Entries open on Monday 7 June 2021, and close at 12PM AEST on Thursday 12 August 2021. For more information or to submit your entry, visit: expressmedia.org.au/programs/hachette-australia-prize/

Guest Review

By Judy Buckley

My year of living vulnerably by Rick Morton

I have never met Rick Morton but feel as though I know him personally.  I first saw him on the ABC’s panel discussion program The Drum, a man who was highly intelligent and articulate, but also sad and vulnerable.  I wanted to give him what is known in our family as a ‘big squashy squooze’.

Rick’s first book 100 years of dirt was a quick read that took ages, with quite a lot of rereading, because it made my emotions soar and constantly left me feeling drained.  I saw the hurt and confusion of the boy, but the book left me worried for the man. 

Rick takes an enormous risk in his second book My year of living vulnerably, exposing his vulnerabilities and his self-defined flaws to all, as he works his way towards a sense of peace, understanding and a rediscovery of love, in particular love for himself.

Under chapter headings like Touch, Forgiveness, Loneliness and Doubt, Rick explores his personal experiences, his memories, notes from his readings, chats with friends (and not so friends) and research as he disentangles himself from the ties that prevent him from living life to the full. 

In the end he is comfortable in his own skin, and in his ability to love himself for the amazing person he is, although he still does not trust enough to risk an ongoing relationship. 

I am no longer worried for the man.  He is going to be OK.

New Stick Mob coming soon

We are delighted to be announcing these new releases via Stick Mob Studio / Indigenous Literacy Foundation, out 29 June 2021.

Stick Mob Stu­dio is a group of five locals focused on cre­at­ing and shar­ing impor­tant sto­ries through graph­ic nov­els. The group con­sists of Declan Miller, Seraphi­na New­ber­ry, Alyssa Mason Lau­ren Boyle and Wendy Cowan.

The sto­ries are inspired by lived expe­ri­ences, draw­ing on themes sur­round­ing sci­ence, art and lit­er­a­ture, and with a strong focus on their cul­tur­al roots.
You can read a little more about the  Stick Mob here.

The official launch will be held at Witchetty’s (Araluen Arts Centre) on Thursday 8th July, 3 – 5pm with books available for purchase at the event.

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