In late June of 2024, the dusty trails of the Australian Outback will welcome a new literary adventurer: Lyndall Hill, the creator and curator of Word Fest Toowoomba’. Lyndall has been extended an invitation to the Australian Outback Writers Festival, set to take place from June 20th to 22nd in the progressive town of Winton. This year’s theme, fittingly, revolves around the essence of the Outback, promising a celebration of Australia’s rich storytelling heritage amidst the iconic setting of the Waltzing Matilda Centre.
The Outback Writers Festival Inc., a non-profit organization established in 2015, stands as a beacon for promoting Australian literature, particularly narratives rooted in the vast and diverse landscapes of the Outback. With a set of admirable objectives, the festival aims not only to entertain but also to educate, inspire, and connect communities:
The festival commits to an annual rendezvous in Winton, serving as a hub for writers, readers, and enthusiasts to converge and share their passion for Australian stories. By engaging writers and readers alike, the festival endeavours to foster a deeper appreciation for Australian narratives, nurturing a culture that champions the diverse voices and experiences within the literary landscape.
One of the festival’s noble missions is to encourage literacy and storytelling among rural and indigenous children, recognising the transformative power of literature in shaping young minds and bridging cultural divides, but beyond its literary endeavours, the festival serves as a platform to spotlight the Outback as a significant tourism destination, inviting both domestic and international visitors to explore its rugged beauty and rich history. Through storytelling, the festival pays homage to the deep-rooted history and cultural tapestry of the Outback, honouring First Nations heritage and the resilience of generations past and present who have walked these lands.
Lyndall Hill’s anticipation is building, as she eagerly awaits the crisp Outback nights and the promise of festival fun. Her journey from Toowoomba to the serene landscapes of Winton is not just a physical one; it symbolises a seamless transition from one chapter of literary exploration to the next. Accompanied by her partner, Murray, Lyndall envisions a road trip punctuated by moments of reflection and inspiration, fueling her passion for storytelling, creativity and community engagement.
As Lyndall prepares to embark on this new adventure, she carries with her the spirit of Word Fest and the values it represents: inclusivity, creativity, and a profound appreciation for the power of words to unite and transform. In Winton, amidst the red earth and vast horizons, Lyndall Hill will find herself among kindred spirits, bound by a shared love for the Outback and the stories that echo across its timeless landscapes.
As the Australian Outback Writers Festival draws near, all eyes turn to Winton, where a new chapter in the story of Australian literature is waiting to unfold, along with the passionate vision of Lyndall this will be a remarkable event.
As a Wordsmith and Director of Word Fest Toowoomba, Lyndall has written a Secondary School textbook (OUP); published multicultural recipe books, a collection of high profile Toowoomba identities and helped others through the self-publishing process. From a Poetry Slam in a boxing ring, Literary Lunches, Author Expos, Storytelling Under the Stars, writingworkshops in train carriages to panels, podcasts and organisations’ histories and giving anything a go, she writes business blogs and applications under MollyB Blogging and personal travel blogs under Travlyn.
After the success of Everydaywas a Chooseday’s launch at Cobb& Co Museum, it has sold out of its first print run, and is in negotiation for reprinting. Congratulations to Aileen Bradley on such a great effort!
Sponsorship for 2024
This means we can support the smaller creative artists and events in the region. Please support our sponsors 🤗
Thanks to the generous support of KC Strategic Media Services, Cracker Print and Paper, and All Star Brokers Insurance, our second recipe book, More Tastes of Toowoomba will soon be launching mouth-watering tastes from our wonderful multicultural community. At this point we hope to launch it on Saturday 24th February in the Courtyard at the Rowes Complex near Ruby Lane Coffee and Flowers, hosted by MosaicHues. * PLEASE save the date.
If you are a Volkswagon enthusiast…
You can also enjoy a drive out to Dubs on the Hill on Sunday 10th March (Date to Save) at the Crows Nest Tourist Park and pick up your copy of the recipe book, Aileen’s book, our other Word Fest publications and quality local artisan products at the Mosaic Hues stall.
Storytelling Under the Stars
Thanks to the support of Reconciliation Queensland for its grant funding support, the creative partnership with Mouse Proof Brewery, and the sponsorship of the Festival Flyer from Cracker Print and Paper, Word Fest Toowoomba was able to provide a community artist space at the Invasive Species Festival.
The recognition of the artistic talent of Daniel Blades and his team was extremely well received by the patrons and the mural will be a vibrant addition to the story of Toowoomba’s early history. The mural depicts the famous Meewah, or Table Top mountain, also known as One Tree Hill, the flora and fauna and the early Indigenous inhabitants. It stands proudly under the imposing building of the Unity/ Dairy Farmers co-operative which indicates the development of industry and the more recent history of Toowoomba and its key business identities.
During the evening when the mural was recognised, stories from other artists present were shared, and the quality of the works highlighted how the creative arts are blooming in Toowoomba with many Indigenous artists now nationally recognised for their styles and hard work and partnerships in the region. Word Fest Toowoomba will be sharing images and stories via our social media and podcast this week.
The input by the Queensland Government to this venture shows its commitment to the creative arts community in Toowoomba, and the confidence it has that this work will build awareness and understanding well into the future as more and more patrons attend other events along the revitalised Brook Street precinct, and learn the story of the mural and its significance. It indicates a very worthwhile addition to the diversity and inclusivity of Toowoomba.
Word Fest Toowoomba is excited to be presenting WaystoTellYourStoryworkshops…
With wonderfully innovative and resilient rural women in Hebel, Cunnamulla, Charleville and Mitchell from 25th February til 5th March. If you have been watching the story of Muster Dogs on the ABC these stories will be just as engaging! Stay tuned for the podcasts, written stories, videos and social media that will follow the workshops.
And you need to book early for these exciting March events – and thanks to the early birds who have already let us know. Limited spaces are available
Fri 8th – Word Fest Toowoomba supporting the Women on the Move 20th Anniversary celebrations on International Women’s Day by writing their story.
Fri 8th – A hungi featuring recipes from First Nations, Kiwi and New Caledonian recipes the new More Tastes of Toowoomba at Crows Next Tourist Park
Fri 15th – Suzanne Leal in Conversation with Michael Burge –part of Kat Lynn’s exciting month-long feature celebrating Inspiring Women at The Lighthouse PLUS a fabulous Art Exhibition of Daniel Blade’s work for sale and auction
Sat 16th – Writers Workshop and Mentoring with Michael Burge – one not to miss at Downs Steam Tourist Museum at Drayton
Sun 17th – The much anticipated Steam Train adventure to Clifton with snippets from our Words From the Past history of the writers from the Darling Downs
Fri 22nd and Sun 24th – Join the Jotters – a trail hunting for the words that highlight the CBD history with Debbie Mulligan
We have started our new WFT Season with the super successful Launch of Everyday was a Chooseday by local identity Aileen Bradley. On Tuesday 19th December (yes, that’s the play on Words chosen for the title) over 65 people shared the introduction of Aileen’s travel guide/ tales, tips and beautiful photographs at the Cobb and Co Museum. This armchair adventurers’ treasure is brimming with wonderful yarns, maps and anecdotes for travellers of all types.
Honoured to attend a truly inspiring book launch celebrating Aileen’s incredible journey through the heart of Australia with her tall handsome husband Gordon.
Aileen unveils a tapestry of memories intricately woven across countless journals. Her dedication to documenting years of travel is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Aileen’s long career, that required her to be extremely organised and structured, seamlessly translates into these meticulously crafted travel logs. Each page tells a story of passion, discovery, and the beauty found in the diverse landscapes of our country.
It’s not just a book; it’s a colossal testament to a life well-lived, filled with adventure and exploration.
Aileen’s journals offer a passport to many places and experiences untold.
Dedicated to her grandchildren & family.
The event was more than a gathering; it was a celebration of family, friends and to curiosity and discovery. Special thanks to Lyndall Hill from Word Fest Toowoomba
WOW! LOOK AT WHAT’S TO COME
Saturday, 27 January
Invasive Species Artists Story Telling Under the Stars and Art Market: 3-8pm Mouse Proof Brewery – unveiling Art Works PICTURE 2024-1 Invasive species
Wednesday, 14 February
More Tastes of Toowoomba launch of multicultural cook book Mosaic Hues – Rowes Complex Court Yard: 5:30pm RSVP 1 February to firstname.lastname@example.org PICTURE 2024-1 MToT
Friday, 8 March
Women on the Move 20th anniversary celebration lunch and booklet GIPS – limited tickets – details to come. Check out Women on the Move Toowoomba on Facebook. PICTURE 2024-1 WOTM
Friday, 8 March
More Tastes of Toowoomba & Hangi Crows Nest Tourist Park – 6:30pm- Recipe book available
Friday, 15 March
In conversation with …. Spend a fantastic evening with nationally celebrated authors, Michael Burge and Susanne Leal The Write Gallery, The Lighthouse, Margaret Street, Toowoomba – 6:15pm RSVP 9 March to email@example.com PICTURE 2024-1 M Burge PICTURE 2024-1 S Leal
Excitement is building for the Launch of Aileen Bradley’s Everyday was a Chooseday travel companion. WordFestToowoomba was humbled to be asked to partner with Aileen to bring this enormous undertaking to fruition.
Aileen and fishing-fiend husband, Gordon, travelled Australia for 7 years of adventures, challenges and wonderful experiences of motor homing – and all in their 70s. Aileen amassed 17 travel journals, and at the instigation of her family and friends, she has converted them into a detailed compendium of each route undertaken. With an eagle eye for detail, and a steady photographer’s hand, she has presented a traveller’s reference: maps, humorous anecdotes, photos and intricate descriptions of each route, recommendations for attractions – both natural and man-made – and particularly useful recommendations for camping spots and a TIP section that is a must for prospective tourers.
This is a wonderful gift for armchair travellers or the means to avoid disasters and find hidden gems if planning trips in any direction around this vast nation.
You are Invited to the launch of Aileen Bradley’s Everyday was a Choosedayat Cobb and Co Museum Tuesday (Chooseday) 19 December at 10 am for Morning Tea and meeting and hearing author Aileen
Book Signing and Sales – Great Christmas Gift! RSVP for catering 14 December to firstname.lastname@example.org or 0447360349
Profile: Michael Burge
Word Fest Toowoomba is privileged and excited to have Michael presenting our Key 2024 Workshop at the exciting venue at DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum in March. Details of the public author lecture and Writers’ Workshop are being confirmed and tickets will be available in the New Year……so stay tuned.
Michael Burge is an Australian author and journalist who lives at Deepwater in the New England region of NSW with his husband and their dogs. After graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Michael undertook media studies in the United Kingdom.
His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love lifted the lid on familial and institutional homophobia in Australia during the marriage equality campaign. Michael has written, edited, directed and broadcast for Fairfax Media, Intermedia, United News & Media, Margo Kingston’s NoFibs and a range of lifestyle mastheads.
He is director of the annual High Country Writers Festival in Glen Innes. His complete works can be found at www.burgewords.com. Tank Water is his first novel.
About Tank Water: James Brandt didn’t look back when he got away from his rural hometown as a teenager. Now, he’s returned to Kippen for the first time in twenty years because his cousin Tony has been found dead under the local bridge.
The news that Tony has left him the entire family farm triggers James’s journalistic curiosity – and his anxiety – both of which cropped up during his turbulent journey to adulthood. But it is the unexpected homophobic attack he survives that draws James into a hunt for the reasons one lonely Kippen farm boy in every generation kills himself.
Standing in the way is James’s father, the town’s recently retired top cop, who is not prepared to investigate crimes no-one reckons have taken place. James must use every newshound’s trick he ever learned in order to uncover the brutal truth.
A coming-of-age story and crime thriller with a large and gentle heart.
Debbie Mulligan and Lyndall are heading to Inverell Library for the Workshop with Michael on December 9th to get a handle on how the Toowoomba Workshop will be. Excited to have Michael on board.
The Nourish Program
WFT has been enjoying bringing the words involved in training for Certificate 3 in Hospitality to a fresh program in partnership with the Community Hub supported by Multicultural Australia and RickyAdams. Each Tuesday, an enthusiastic group of mature students hone their English language skills, learn hospitality skills through the Aurora Training course, and practise their skills in how to operate the running of the school tuckshop at our hosts DarlingHeightsStateSchool.
An offshoot of this partnership has been the production of the next volume of our very popular multicultural recipe book. Celebrating More Tastes of Toowoomba is well underway. Thanks to the photography work of Cutta Murphy Photography, the generosity of recipe sharers and the compilation of the recipes by our wonderful volunteers, we are hoping to launch the new recipe book on Valentine’s Day – 14 February 2024.
Invasive Species Concert and More
Please keep your holiday spirit running high on 27th January at Mouse Proof Brewery, Brook Street. With 10 Punk Rock Bands playing between 11am and 11pm, including our chart topping local band Kathleen Turner Overdrive, plus profiling and partnering by Word Fest Toowoomba and DanielBlades with his thought-provoking art providing the backdrop for the bands; and an outdoor artisan market and Storytelling Under the Stars you will be highly entertained. Claim the date NOW.
Our 2024 program has loads of exciting word-based events lined up.
Please share as widely as you can to get the word out there.
This phase of our annual planning is always busy, but presents us with lots of interesting and unusual activities and potential partnerships so that we can support the regional creative art of writing and words in all forms. Please hop on board for West Fest Toowoomba 2024.
We are very excited to present From Script to Stage as our theme in this our third year of WFT.
Here is the draft program so you can add to your diaries:
setting up our podcast studio ready to interview and share our 2024 presenters via Spotify – short, sassy sharing tasters for the program events
Calling for your favourite recipes – * EOIbelow
Launch of Aileen Bradley’s travel tips and tales Chooseday – details tbc
Debbie Mulligan road trip to Inverell for Michael Burge’s Write Regardless workshop
Jan 27 – Mouse Proof Brewery Invasive Species event – Storytelling of Toowoomba’s landscape through the eyes and paintbrush of Daniel Blades and his art crew.
Launch of Celebrating More Tastes of Toowoomba – the second edition of our very popular multicultural recipe book – details tbc
7th – Progressive Poetry Trail – Japanese Garden
9th – Progressive walking Capturing the CBD History Trail
10th – Progressive Script Writing Trail
Mar 16 – Terrific guest author, Michael Burge presents the Get on Board workshop and mentoring at DownsSteam, Drayton for a Writers Retreat with a difference – keeping you on track! * EOIbelow
Yet to be confirmed, but anticipating a Words From the Past train trip to Clifton via Nobby with a lot of fun words, history, food and visual arts along the way * EOI below
April 9th – Family History writing Workshop – 100YearsFromNow
Cooking Demos from the new recipe book at the Toowoomba Show
May 9th – Following our Zero Waste campaign and Podcasts, the excitement for the next Trashion Parade – theme is Mother – details in the * EOIbelow. I am working on There was an old Woman who lived in a Shoe for my entry….how about getting your imagination into gear?
Under wraps for now, our fantastic Warm Words in Winter Author Expos and Workshops, Literary Lunch, book launches and performances will be held from 4th– 9th June and will include our annual book launch at the QueenslandDay event
Sponsors and Partners
A huge thank you to our previous sponsors and welcome aboard to those supporting us for 2024.
KC Strategic Media Services – Toowoomba and Darling Downs is our Gold Sponsor for Marketing and Media. Thanks Kim for your energy and creativity in getting the Word out for us.
Our printers – Cracker Print and Paper Mosaic Hues Totally Workwear Cutta Murphy Photography Ian Wickham’s in the Booth Community Hub – Darling Heights State School Aileen Bradley Sonia Christou – All Star Brokers Grand Central – Georgina Bayly Mouse Proof Brewery Ruth Atkinson and Marianne Buchanan Daniel Blades
Volunteers keep our wheels turning – Thank you unreservedly to the Word Fest Toowoomba Team: Kath Kelly, Suzie King, Debbie Mulligan, Garry Chew, Ben Moore, Vanda Murphy, Lizzie Cook-Long and Wendy McKeen for your massive and ongoing support.
Would you like to join us, or offer to sponsor an individual event?
Creating Curriculum to supplement the Certificate 3 in Hospitality for migrant and refugee adult students seeking work. The Nourish program is designed to complement the Smart Choices guidelines for school tuckshops and is an example of our Words across the community capacity.
Excitedly getting Daniel Blades and his artistic crew on board to create something amazing as the backdrop for the Invasive Species event at the Mouse Proof Brewery on 27th January. This will be a great day for live music with Lead Singer of Punk Band Kathleen Turner Overdrive gathering band from SE Qld to rock the day. You need to claim the date now!
WFT working behind the scenes on blogs and newsletters for StudyToowoomba – the Council – supported program to showcase Toowoomba as a wonderful educational, safe and welcoming place for International Students. Here are the 6 Student Ambassadors enjoying a meal together at Durbar restaurant at Uni Plaza and promoting their proud cultural heritage at the International Fiesta.
Assisting local identity, AileenBradley, prepare her travel adventures for Cracker Print and Paper to publish her guide and anecdotes ready for launching Chooseday.
Excited to be producing more quality publications next year….stay tuned for these new works.
Darling Downs Community Hub
What a great vibe we had in the Hub and Tuckshop on Friday, 27 October. Lyndall Hill from Word Fest Toowoomba and her gang of excited participants, started their Cert III in Hospitality with Aurora Training Institute Toowoomba through our Community Hub.
And to top it off, guess what the first cooking project was?? 100’s of sausages for our Daniel Morcombe Foundation, fund raising day.
Not only are the participants learning, they are giving back to our community. Community Hubs Australia, Darling Heights State School, Word Fest, Aurora and our amazing participants all working together to make our world a little better.
If you felt that you would like to help support this great initiative, please consider donating to the Hub to help buy food or if you are a business looking for employees, please contact Ricky Adams via Darling Downs Community Hub Facebook.
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
More Tastes of Toowoomba
We are creating another Taste of Toowoomba recipe book to share traditional recipes and to celebrate our cultural diversity. If you would like to have your favourite recipe included in the book, complete the details below, outlining the recipe and why it is important to you.
Get on Board Writers’ Retreat with Michael Burge
16 March at DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum, Drayton
About Michael Burge: Michael Burge is a journalist, author and artist who lives at Deepwater on Ngarabal Country in the New England region of NSW. His debut novel Tank Water is a coming-of-age crime thriller set in the bush and was released by MidnightSun Publishing. His non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love (High Country Books) lifted the lid on familial, institutional and government homophobia in Australia.
Michael co-manages The Makers Shed, a creative hub in Glen Innes. Browse his books in his online bookshop and view his artwork at his online art gallery. He is director of High Country Books. A graduate of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, Michael was touring co-ordinator for Arts North West.
In a series of hard-hitting articles for Guardian Australia, Margo Kingston’s NoFibs and Gay Star News, Michael’s journalism has always covered issues of equality, LGBTIQA+ history, popular culture, politics and pathways for independent artists and writers. He has also edited and written for Fairfax Media, Australian Community Media, Intermedia, United News & Media UK and News Corporation. His article ‘Backwards to Bourke: Bulldust about Gays in the Bush’ was published internationally in the Journal of Australian Studies.
For more detail on his work history check out his LinkedIn profile.
The workshop will be held on site at DownsSteam Museum, which is located at the historic Drayton railway station and features a range of historic carriages, it’s very unique dreamtime carriage and a number of operational locomotives. DownsSteam are planning to have day-trip train journeys operating in the very near future.
Cost of workshop will be dependent on number of participants, but cost will include venue, catering and presenter fees. A very unique opportunity to get your writing on board and on track!
Words from the Past
March 2024 – To be confirmed Take a trip into the past to learn more of writers from the Darling Downs. While many of us know the Steele Rudd story from Nobby, you may be surprised to discover many other writers from our local area. WordFest is currently working with DownsSteam Tourist Railway and Museum to organise a steam train journey to Clifton. More details to come.
9 May – Grand Central Shopping Centre Next year’s theme is Mother. This year’s parade was such a success, we can’t wait to see the designs that will be on display! We want to see reloved, remade, reused, recycled, reworked, refashioned, recast, revised, redone, reforged, refitted … you get the picture! To link in with Wordfest’s 2024 theme of Script to Stage, we will be asking that each garment has a story/script to accompany it on stage. To assist with covering costs, there will be a small fee of $5 per entry.
Following requests for an updated version of our popular brochure for the free 24/7 access to books around the suburbs, and thanks to WFT Team member, Kath Kelly, we are proud to share this community resource for 2023.Any more that you are aware of, please let us know for our next update.
Copies are available from the VisitorInformationCentre on James Street, or from MosaicHuesat the corner of Victoria and Keefe Streets in the CBD behind ROWES.Free parking at both locations!
A new Street Library is being constructed at 17 Atkinson Street, South Toowoomba and will soon launch.
Averybig, heartfelt thanks to Megan O’Hara Sullivan forsupportingouractivityofraisingawarenessoflifestyleoptionsfor FemalesOver50 on her Big Little Small Talk radio program on Tuesdays on 102.7 fm.Thanks to those interviewed from The Women’s Shed both in Toowoomba and the Pittsworth Women’s Shed and the Pittsworth Men’s Shed.
We will be on the road around the region to continue the series for our Spotify Podcast Site – Word Fest Toowoomba.If you are keen to share your story….give us the word.Contact Lyndall on email@example.com
Listen for our interviews re our Carnival of Flowers community gardener and Finances Over 50 hints.
July is the start of our planning and programming for the coming Word Fest Toowoomba year.To help fund our activities we produce or support the publication of various publications.
The year ahead will see More Tastes of Toowoomba working with Mosaic Hues Rachael Carter, and the Community Hub Darling Heights State School’s Ricky Adams, to produce quality recipes from our multicultural community and a couple of other great books which are still under wraps.
Plenty of Word Fest activities in the planning now.Keep an eye open for them, share the Facebook posts and let’s build our creative literary community of word lovers together.