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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1475 ..


MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (9.19): In my capacity as shadow minister for education and training, I was pleased to attend for the second year running an awards ceremony called Litlinks, held at the National Library theatre last night.

The Litlinks awards ceremony is an initiative of the ACT Association for the Teaching of English, or ACTATE, and generously sponsored by Roger and Maxeme Tall, owners of the Paperchain bookstore in Manuka. Litlinks is also supported by the National Library of Australia and the ACT Writers Centre.

The event celebrates and rewards young student writers from schools and colleges across the ACT. The event last night also showcased and launched the 2009 Litlinks book of writing by the creme de la creme of ACT high school and college students in years 10, 11 and 12. This year the competition attracted 47 entries from seven colleges and six high schools. The ceremony itself was emceed by Ms Jacqui Burke, a former MLA and now a frequent contributor to community activities.

Prior to the finalists and the eventual winners being announced, Ms Burke hosted a panel of experts that included last year’s winner, Ms Ashley Orr; Mr Jack Heath, an author and the ACT 2009 Young Australian of the Year; and Mr Omar Musa, a renowned Canberra poet and rapper and the 2008 Australian slam poetry champion. They were very informative and entertaining as they shared their literary successes with students, teachers, parents and guests.

Dr Anthony Eaton, a Canberra-based author and lecturer at the University of Canberra, was the guest speaker, and he also had the unenviable task of selecting the overall competition winner, who was Jessica Swann of Erindale College, while the runner-up was Rachel Stokker from Lake Tuggeranong college. As a member for Brindabella, I take special pride in congratulating Jessica Swann and her teacher, Toby Grundy, from Erindale college and Rachel Stokker and her teacher, Danelle Gannon, from Lake Tuggeranong college.

Vice-president of ACTATE and Litlinks coordinator, Ms Suzanne Kiraly, said:

The best aspect of this competition is the hope that in some small way, it may be instrumental in launching new writing careers from as young an age as possible. We need more young authors to come forward and to hopefully encourage them through the Litlinks Writing Competition.

I echo and support Ms Kiraly’s sentiments. The executive team of the ACT Association of the Teaching of English is comprised of the following members: Michelle Morthorpe, president; Suzanne Kiraly, Litlinks coordinator and vice-president; and members of the executive who were helping out last night, Jacqui Burke as emcee, Rita van Haren, Jennifer Evans, Cara Shipp, Christian Riley, Dennis Flannery and Gai Britt.

I would like to congratulate Ms Kiraly and the executive team on their hard work in launching and nurturing this initiative. As I said to them last night, I will be happy to

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