In June this year, I was fortunate to be one of four students to receive a non-academic bursary, funded by the Sunshine Coast Readers and Writers Festival (SCRWF) to travel to Bali later this month and present as a group member at a fringe event, part of the International Readers and Writers Festival Ubud .http://www.ubudwritersfestival.com/
I won’t pretend that this has all been plain sailing because it hasn’t and there have been a number of times when I have felt like walking away. The reasons have been many and varied, but I haven’t walked away. I have made a commitment and I will honour it to the very best of my ability. I am reminded often, there is no such thing as “a free lunch” and a “job worth doing is worth doing well.” I would never give less than 100%.
It has been a struggle, the demands of a final semester at University have been intense. The requirement to write my application for my post graduate candidacy for the Master of Professional Practice Creative Writing and my assignments and presentations for the final semester, which is shortened by 4 weeks due to travel, have all collided head on with the obligation to the SCRW Festival and the preparation for Bali. There were also the constraints of juggling family, business and existing community commitments. The joys of being a busy person.
It’s not all about conflicting deadlines, there has also been a financial cost despite the generous bursary. Insurance, passports, photos, vaccinations, travel to and from meetings etc. All these put a strain on an already tight budget. People make the mistake of thinking retiree and a student, got it easy financially. No way think again.
There are personal costs, positive and negative. Like all groups. the entire process has gone through the norming, storming, forming process, tempers have flared, egos have been bruised and words have been said that would have been best left unsaid. I am so fortunate to have had the support of my partner through all of this, and to be working with my best friend and to have made new friends as a result of the process.
To be part of the first SCRW Festival was an amazing experience. The friends made and the relationships and networking opportunities. WOW. Unfortnately I did not have the opportunity to attend many of the events I wanted to attend – next year I will be better organised. The Festival was a success despite the competition as there were many other events scheduled at the same time. Most of these were scheduled after Festival date had already been locked in.
Going to Ubud is an incredible opportunity, the like of which I will never be offered again. It offers all of us the ability to network and learn new skills. To be in the centre of the writing world in Asia. The festival runs for four days – four days packed with workshops and lectures – four days overflowing with creative energy.
As I was pondering on all of this, I realised the true gift of what has come my way. How lucky I am to be doing all of these things. The opportunity for growth I have been offered not just as a writer, but as a person. The words of the theme of the Ubud Festival really hit home. I AM YOU – YOU ARE ME – WE ARE ONE.
With that in mind, I thought about how to give something back and that was when I thought about our mentor’s grass-roots charity project, BOOTS FOR BALI. The following event has now been planned and is taking shape . Its success will be a win-win for everyone concerned . A chance to give to those less fortunate.
Saturday October 1st 9.00am
Landsborough Market and (SCRWF) Bursary Winners support BOOTS FOR BALI
Four University of the Sunshine Coast students are heading for Bali this month take part in the Ubud International Readers and Writers Festival. They are also supporting BOOTS FOR BALI, a grassroots project that supports children in the Bugbug/Samuh region of Bali. This project commenced in 2008 and provides for the educational and sporting needs for the children in these villages. It has recently been expanded to work with special needs children. Come along to the Landsborough Market, Old Landsborough Road, hear the students speak and support Boots for Bali. The Bursary has been provided by the Sunshine Coast Readers and Writers Festival. The founder of Boots for Bali, well known Sunshine Coast identity, Eileen Walder, will talk about how Boots for Bali began. Admission is a gold coin donation and Morning Tea will be provided. We are collecting football boots if you have any that are no longer needed please bring them along. https://www.facebook.com/Boots-for-Bali-123997825529/
Come along and support this event. Make a day of it. Hear the students present their work for the UBUD Festival and visit the Hinterland. Support Boots for Bali and Check out the Landsborough Market and then head down to Beerwah – Check out the Tower Green Market and at Beerwah Books and Bits show your student card for 10% discount. Try one of the great eating venues in Beerwah for coffee and snacks or have an old fashioned pub lunch at the Landsborough Hotel. Then head up to Maleny for an afternoon of shopping and check out the Botanical Gardens. So much to see and do in the Hinterland. Talks commence 9.00am sharp.
To my partner Bernie – thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me always to follow my dreams
To my group members – Jade Kate Kiarna – what an adventure we have embarked on
To our mentor – Eileen thank you does not seem enough
To the founder WendyO and the executive committee of SCRWF – Thank you for the opportunity . We will do SCRWF, the Sunshine Coast and the University proud.