News & Events

All That Glitters…


A group of Years 10 and 11 students from St Mary’s took to the wet and windy streets of Bendigo the other week to listen to a group of Australian authors talk about their books and writing experiences. Author Randa Abdel-Fattah discussed her novel ‘Does my Head Look Big in This?’ and the impacts that her novel has had on the community, as well as her experiences with the injustice and discrimination Muslim women face in Australia. Her words were enlightening and provided us with a deeper understanding of the issues these women face. We also had the opportunity to learn about the program ‘Heywire’ run by the ABC which shares teenagers stories from across the country. Our day ended with us listening to Alice Pung, whose comedic timing and way with words charmed us all. She discussed her experiences writing her memoir and left us with the advice of “go buy the cheapest, crappiest notebook from Woolies and carry it with you everywhere”, as there is inspiration everywhere you go.  The Bendigo Writers Festival was an amazing experience that was enjoyed by every student who attended. We all cannot wait to attend next year.

Abby Perdon, Year 10

This year the Bendigo Writers Festival was themed ‘All that Glitters’ and had some amazing authors like, Aunty Fay Muir, Sue Lawson, Lynne Kelly, Fleur Ferris and Alice Pung. About sixty Coolock students from Years 7 to 9 attended the Friday of the 3-day festival, where they learned about a variety of different topics such as thrillers, immigrants, memory control and aboriginal culture. The students participated in various activities during the day, like 5-minute writing sprints with Fleur Ferris, an interactive talk with Lynne Kelly about memory control, or simply listening to some talks with authors. Alice Pung spoke about her book about her family’s life as Asian immigrants in Australia, and Aunty Fay Muir and Sue Lawson presented about their dictionary filled with aboriginal words. This experience was amazing and filled with inspiration for students who love reading and writing.

Layne Austen, Year 8A3

Year 10 students (L-R): Katerina Pizzo, Imogen Nixon, Abby Perdon, Hunter Webster, with writer Alice Pung.
Year 8 students who attended the festival.
Year 8 students participating in a creative writing workshop with Fleur Ferris.