The Inaugural Writing for Change Workshop (20th February, 2014 in Perth, Australia)

    A few notes by Maarten van der Wall

    The Setting:

    In a magnificent old timber-lined room on the University of Western Australia Claremont Campus inPerth, on a typically hot summer’s day, fifty fellow travelers embarked on a journey of exploration to support the emergence of this Writing for Changecollaboration with BK and its author community.

    The People:
    There to set the scene for the attentive audience were BK author Jennifer Kahnweiler, who was visiting from the US, local Perth writer and poet, Annamaria Weldon, and the facilitation team of Michael Prince, Renu Burr and Maarten van der Wall.

    The First Conversation:
    The first course of this writer’s feast was rich fare, as we enjoyed an exhilarating conversation between Jennifer and Annamaria, convened by Michael, during which they shared their wisdom and experience and responded with a refreshing honesty and clarity to questions from the audience.

     Opening a Space:
    Following a very welcome mid-morning break for refreshments, and for some escape from the heat (our air-conditioning had taken an unfortunate break for the holidays), it was time for the audience to play its part.

     Maarten facilitated a series of Open Space conversations that were given depth and meaning by the wholehearted and thoughtful contributions of all concerned. They listened attentively to each other, were appreciative of the power of the spoken and written word in bringing about change and (above all) showed that they knew how to have fun while doing it!

    And, for a few exciting and energy-filled hours together, we all enjoyed the experience of being part of the Writers for Change community!


    What’s next?

    Writing for Change is an emergent story in our West Australian context, as demonstrated by the number of people who attended the workshop and expressed interest in being part of this continuing narrative. With that clearly in mind, the organizers look forward to building a continuing and energizing collaboration with BK and its author community and to being an influential part of the local writing scene for many years to come.

    Our Thanks:
    We are grateful for the ongoing support and encouragement offered by Johanna Vondeling and the BK author community and for the provision of the venue by Terri-Ann White of UWA Publishing. And many, many thanks go to Gourmet Ganesha, Meenakshi Burr and Judy Shearwood for the wonderful refreshments.

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