Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival
Now in its 14th year, the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival is a firm favourite on the Mackay and Whitsundays education calendar. The Festival, held from the 12th to the 14th of July, includes approximately 76 events for students and adults to participate in.
With approximately 65 schools participating each year, and approximately 5,000 students, teachers and parents attending over the three days, the Voices Festival strives to be as inclusive of as many students in the region as possible.
This year, 13 different presenters delivered student sessions that were relevant for students from Preparatory to Year 12. Students at every level could take something positive away from the Festival. The diversity of presenters is also an important component of the Festival, and this year’s Festival included authors, performers, a playwright and even a Shakespearean rapper!
With Art and Creative Writing Workshops, students that wanted a more hands-on learning experience could sign up for those sessions.
This year, Whitsunday Voices introduced a few extra elements to enhance the fun-based learning experience for students across our region. The ‘Bendigo Bank Chill Out Lounge’ offered outdoor furniture, cushions, shade and music, as well as a PA system and microphone to welcome schools as they arrived, and ‘In the Booth’ contributed a photo booth for students to record their special time and memories made at the Festival.
Each year the Whitsunday Anglican School Booth Boarding House accommodates rural students supported by the Winchester Foundation, by hosting them in our boarding facilities for the duration of the Festival.
Whitsunday Voices achieves an amazing event, year after year, with the generous support of its business partners. Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal has been the Festival’s major partner for five years and is committed to improving literacy in the region, as well as enhancing the cultural landscape of Mackay and the Whitsundays. Other key partners include Work Pac, CQ University, Bendigo Bank, Brown and Bird, Dance Express, the Whitsunday Anglican School Foundation and the Whitsunday Anglican School P & F.
Next year, Whitsunday Voices will implement other ways of using literacy skills and story-telling, like song writing and journalism. The Festival will continually strive to be inspiring and relevant for all our students.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have visited literary festivals all over the country, and seriously, none come close to generating the magic that your students, staff and volunteers generate at Whitsunday Voices.” – John Danalis.
Pictured: Fiona Wood, Jack Heath, Charlie Thomson, Jonty Martin, Lucas Proudfoot Ailsa Wild, Stephen Mushin, Bealinda Murrell, PJ Tierney, Isobelle Carmody, John Danalis, Beau Bailey, Maria McIvor, Deboral Abela, Hannie Rayson, Maddi Romke, Tonia Wilson.
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