Congratulations to the Concordia Lutheran College Toowoomba “Deadly Mob” (some of whom are supported by the Doug Hall Foundation). The students have written and published a book called Two Ways Strong. It tells the story of life at boarding school through the eyes of young Indigenous students from remote locations across Queensland.
The idea first surfaced when Year 12 student Raikiesha Castors wrote a story about the joys and the challenges of leaving her home on Palm Island to complete her secondary schooling in Toowoomba.
The story became a standout at the ABC Heywire Storytelling project, which is an opportunity for rural and regional young people to get their stories heard.
Concordia teacher Jane Smith proposed expanding the story to include more of the school’s indigenous students, and having it published through the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF).
What began as a small idea to be shared internally has turned into a nationwide publication! Fourteen indigenous students contributed their thoughts and ideas.
After 12 months of rigorous workshopping under the leadership of Claire Scobie and Kristine Ellis from ILF, the book was launched on 6 September at the 2017 Brisbane Writers Festival. The launch, held at Brisbane State Library, was officiated by Dame Quentin Bryce, patron of ILF, and Suzy Wilson, founder of ILF.
The students enjoyed a day of red-carpet treatment at the State Library, which included a book-signing, radio and television interviews, and a lunch. It’s a long way from their remote communities. Well done to the Deadly Mob and their support team!
The book is available in bookstores across the nation and can be ordered online here.