Mildura Weekly : Friday April 4 2014 Vol 8 No 22
Mildura Weekly – 04/04/14 19 www.milduraphonebook.com.au BEVERFORD children’s author, Liz Braid, ad- mitted to feeling a littler overwhelmed recently when her book ‘Half-Pint’ received a number of nominations for the Young Australian Best Book Awards. Known as the YABBA Awards, the concept sees children vote for their favourite Australian books, with the competition running annually since 1985. Students from Prep to Year 9 can nominate up to four of their favourite books as part of the awards, while schools can also get involved by submitting borrowing lists from their library. Following the nomination period (which closed on March 28), a short-list of 10 books in each of the four award categories (picture story book, fiction for younger readers, fiction for older read- ers, and fiction for Years 7 to 9) will be selected and distributed to participating schools, with students to then rank those titles. The book with the most votes in each category receives a YABBA. Liz said that while she had no idea how many nomina- tions her book would need to make the short-list, she was simply proud to see her work up for consid- eration. “While I hope Half-Pint will be short-listed for older readers, just the fact that children are nominating it is a great feeling,” she said. “It means they’re reading it and enjoying the story.” Liz said that she had only just been in- formed of her book’s popularity in the awards, which are based solely on children’s votes. “It’s certainly comes as a big surprise to even be in this position,” she said. “I’m lucky that the book appeals to both younger and older students. “The story is about a 10-year-old girl and her pony, so it has pretty univer- sal appeal.” Liz said she plans on pub- lishing a sequel to ‘Half-Pint’ called ‘Kosci,’ with any success in the YABBA Awards to go a long way in making that dream a reality. “Making the short-list of these awards will help me get closer to my goal of publishing ‘Kosci,’” she said. “Half-Pint is my first book, and I have basically published it myself and done all the marketing on my own. “It’s a lot of work, and can be hard when you come from somewhere like Beverford – which is located just outside Swan Hill. “Being self-published means you almost rely on this sort of publicity to happen, it’s an absolute dream come true.” More information about the YABBA Awards is available by visiting www.yabba.org.au . Liz in the running for YABBA accolade • Beverford author Liz Braid is pictured ABOVE with young daughter Grace. Liz’s love of horses is the inspiration for her YABBA-nominated book ‘Half-Pint.’ RESIDENTS are being en- couraged to take part in the inaugural Sunraysia Multi- cultural Festival to be staged on Saturday, April 12, from 11am to 5pm at Nowingi Place on Mildura’s riverfront. Organised by a group of passionate volunteers, the first-of-its-kind event is being billed as the ideal op- portunity to celebrate the diverse cultures and ethnic communi- ties that make up the Sunraysia region. It has been de- signed in the hope of creating and embrac- ing a greater under- standing and respect of cultural differences and similarities. Festival co-or- dinator Michelle Kelly has been work- ing with local multicultural groups in the lead up to the event, including the volun- teer committee which con- sists of 11 representatives – headed by Yesim Saritoprak of the Turkish Islamic Com- munity. “All of our committee members and fellow partici- pants are putting in an amaz- ing effort,” Michelle said. “There are more than 50 different nations represented in our region, so what better way to celebrate our cultural diversity than through a fes- tival. “We are really looking for- ward to sharing and celebrat- ing the many benefits a mul- ticultural community offers.” Hosted by ABC Mildura Swan Hill presenters Deb Banks and Anthony Gerace, ABOVE, the day will also see more than 15 performances take the Nowingi Place stage, including singing, dancing and music. Featured will be the Rob- invale Dreamtime Dance Group, Afri Boyz rap group, the Tongan hula and candle dance group and ‘Bollywood’ dancing from members of the local Indian community. Festival-goers will also have the chance to experi- ence the tastes of 10 different cuisines, with Greek, Italian, Tongan and Middle Eastern dish- es to be available. Arts and craft stalls and games will also be on offer throughout the day, with members of Sunraysia’s Turkish community to host a game of crochet, while Fijian commu- nity members will pass on the secrets to traditional dishes. The free community fes- tival is a joint initiative of the Victorian Government, Mildura Rural City Council and the Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Coun- cil, with the aim to turn the event into an annual celebra- tion of the region’s cultural diversity. Multicultural Festival to make debut 829 Fifteenth Street Mildura | Phone 5022 9313 HAIR STYLIST WANTED BE YOUR OWN BOSS. A GREAT CHAIR RENTAL OPPORTUNITY. 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Friday March 28 2014 Vol 8 No 21
Friday April 11 2014 Vol 8 No 23