I spent Monday afternoon at my granddaughter’s school where I had been invited in as an author to talk about Australia.
I couldn’t have done this without lots of input from various cousins, friends and Facebook friends in Australia. With video snapshots from Hobart, Sydney and Queensland, I showed the beauties of Australia. Lots of lovely readers on the Australian rural fiction Facebook page told me what kinds of things they get up to on Australia Day which the children read out.
We then explored why Australia Day is at the end of January. These little six year-olds sailed the sea with me on our eight-month journey as we were sea-sick, bored and sad about leaving friends and family. We were astonished that John Hudson was sent at 11 to Australia for some minor theft and learnt what privations these intrepid settlers had to undego. Yes, I showed them the bucket that was their shared toilet.
Then we learnt about what the aboriginals thought of the first settlers and learned to shout Warra, Warra, Warra – go away – to no avail, in the local language of the Cadigal people.
After a well-deserved break they enjoyed a creation dreamtime story from Queensland and I gave them all a lizard outline on card so they could have a go at making some aboriginal art work. I look forward to seeing the results.
We then sang the Kookaburra song, learned some Aussie words like billabong and tucker bag. Yes, you know what’s coming. We finished off with a rousing chorus of Waltzing Matilda and a final video from New South Wales for Happy Australia Day.
It was a lot of work. I was not there to sell books but I had a great time and received a clap & some gifts from the school for my time. I wonder if I will be invited back next year.