Good films

Some good upcoming films, many based on novels…..


Goodbye Christopher Robin

Directed by Simon Curtis. Stars Domhnall Gleeson as A.A. Milne and Margot Robbie as Daphne Milne. Explores the life of A.A. Milne and his relationship with his son. Milne suffers post traumatic stress after WW1 and writing the Pooh stories for his son helps him cope. However, international success comes at a cost to his family. Opens 23 Nov.



Based on the book by R.J. Palacio. Directed by Stephen Chbosky. Stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay. A young boy with a facial deformity deals with friendships, prejudice, love and life. Opens 30 Nov.


Namatjira project

Documentary tracing the quest of the family of indigenous artist Albert Namatjira to have the copyright of his works returned to them. The Northern Territory public trustee sold the copyright to a private art collector in 1983 for $8,500. The Namatjira Project is also an initiative that seeks to highlight the continued appropriation of indigenous culture. Opens 7 Sept.



Based on the novel by Stephen King. A terrifying being terrorises a group of bullied children in a small town in Maine. Opens 7 Sept.



Based on the book by Brian Selznick. Directed by Todd Haynes. Stars Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams. Set in 1927 and 1977. Two children run away from home – one to find their idol, and the other to solve a mystery about his father. Half of the film is silent as the main character is deaf. “Alive with the magic of pictures and the mysteries of silence, this is an uncommonly grownup film about children, communication, connection and memory.” (David Rooney). Opens 14 Dec.


Blade runner 2049

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, co-produced by Ridley Scott. Stars Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. Set 50 years after the events of the first film. A new blade runner unearths a long-buried secret that could plunge society into chaos and sets out on a quest to find a former blade runner, missing for 30 years. Opens 5 Oct.


Rebel in the rye

Biopic of the life of J.D. Salinger. Directed by Danny Strong. Stars Nicholas Hoult and Kevin Spacey. After the horror of WW2, a young Salinger embarks on his writing career under the mentorship of his professor at Columbia University. In real life, Salinger fought during D-Day and was at the liberation of Dachau concentration camp. He always carried notebooks and wrote about Holden even during WW2. Opens Oct.


Loving Vincent

World’s first fully hand-painted feature film – an animated drama about the life and mysterious death of Vincent Van Gogh. The film uses a new oil painting for each shot, with movement added from one frame to the next by a painter’s brush. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh. Stars Saoirse Ronan and Chris O’Dowd. Opens 2 Nov.


The man who invented Christmas

Biopic  adapted from the book by Les Standiford. Directed by Bharat Nalluri. Stars Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer (Scrooge). A young Charles Dickens sets out to write and self-publish A Christmas Carol, after suffering the failure of his last 3 books. Opens 30 Nov.


Murder on the Orient Express

Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh as Poirot, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench. Poirot investigates the murder of a wealthy American on the train. Opens 9 Nov.


The greatest showman

Directed by Australian Michael Gracey. Stars Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron. Musical about the life of the original showman P.T. Barnum and how he founded Barnum & Bailey’s Circus. “It started as a movie about the power of imagination and will and never giving up on your dreams. It grew into a deeper idea that what makes you different makes you special.” (Hugh Jackman). Can’t wait – a musical with Hugh J Opens 26 Dec.


Other fun upcoming films include Captain Underpants : the first epic movie (14 Sept) and The emoji movie (14 Sept) – emojis go on a mission to save the hidden world within our phones. Jumanji: welcome to the jungle, sequel to the 1995 film, opens 26 Dec and also in December Star Wars Episode VIII: the last Jedi. Will Kylo Ren make a reappearance??


Happy Book Week 19 – 26 Aug 2017! Theme: Escape to everywhere.

To celebrate, we have had some fun activities on offer. Students can solve the puzzles in the ‘Escape from the library’ game; enter our Signpost quiz (what book is the destination on the sign from?); take part in our ‘Escape to everywhere’ quiz with escape-themed questions or enter the visual art competition.


Book Week 19-25 August. Theme – Escape to everywhere.

Each year the Children’s Book Council of Australia chooses the best Australian children’s books in various categories – early childhood; younger readers;  picture books; older readers and information books. The ‘older readers’ books are suitable for high school and college.


Shortlist: and Notables:


Better Reading Australia

Some great reads can be found in the Better Reading Australia’s Top 100 list. The votes are in – new list for 2017 out soon.

Reading suggestions and weekly best-sellers:

Themed book lists and book suggestions:

Top 50 Kids’ Books 2017:

Reading helps develop empathy:


Dymocks Top 101 2017

  1. All the light we cannot see 2. The book thief 3. The girl on the train 4. Harry Potter series 5. The light between oceans

New releases and bestsellers:


Goodreads Choice Awards 2016

The only major book awards decided by readers – over 3.55 million votes. Fiction winner: Truly madly deeply by Liane Moriarty. Sci fi winner: Morning star by Pierce Brown. Mystery & thriller winner: End of watch by Stephen King.



World’s largest site for book recommendations, quizzes, quotes – owned by Amazon.

Books with different kinds of escapes:

Escaping from difficult situations:


Indie Book Awards 2017

Awarded by Australian independent booksellers. Winner: The dry by Jane Harper. Young adult winner: Words in deep blue by Cath Crowley. Children’s winner: Circle by Jeannie Baker.


Australian Independent Bookseller

New releases, weekly top 10, literary awards news. The 91-story treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton is top this week.


Tsundoku anyone?

The condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in your home without reading them….From the Japanese ‘tsunde’ (to stack things) ‘oku’ (to leave for a while) and ‘dokusho’ (to read).


Artificial Intelligence creates romance book titles!

20 000 Harlequin Romance novel titles were given to a neural network, a type of artificial intelligence that learns the structure of text. The AI created its own titles and authors, including: The savage bride; Surgery seduction; Impossible Santa wife; Under the cowboy and the bestselling Sob over the boss…


Minimalist book covers


Book covers for 1984 the novel


10 words for book lovers

Hamartia: refers to a fatal flaw that leads to the downfall of a tragic hero. Or maybe you are a librocubicultarist – someone who reads in bed.


Why did they choose that as the book title?

Moments in popular books where book titles are mentioned.


25 fun bookish quizzes

Is it a line from The great Gatsby…or is it a Jay-Z lyric? What classical character are you? Match the author with the ailment.


What can you learn from a book?

Biologists at Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries have investigated the 12th century book the Gospel of Luke and discovered holes from 900 year old bookworms, microbes from people who coughed on the book and the various animal skins used in the parchment – 8.5 calves, 10.5 sheep and half a goat. They want to build a parchment DNA library, using ancient DNA from various sources.


Why we love the smell of old books

Many people think old books smell like chocolate, followed by coffee. However, old libraries smell ‘woody’, ‘smoky’, ‘earthy’….


Interesting literature facts for trivia lovers


Canberra Writers’ Festival 25-27 August


OverDrive ebooks and audiobooks

All ACT government staff and students have access to a great collection of over 5000 ebooks and audiobooks  – for primary, high school, college and adults, accessible on all devices. Find them in Oliver, the library catalogue, available in the Backpack. Search for titles, authors and subjects in Oliver (ebooks have a tablet icon), click on it and then click Borrow OverDrive ebook. For personal devices, allow pop-ups in your browser and download the OverDrive app: . Have a browse – there’s lots of great titles to be discovered!

Teen reading habits and 21st century skills

Some interesting reads from Teacher magazine and elsewhere…..


Teacher magazine

Excellent online ACER publication with interesting articles and quick reads – Evidence + Insight + Action.


Infographic: Teen reading habits

Early findings from a study by Deakin and Murdoch Universities, exploring the recreational reading habits of Australian teenagers. 70% read at least weekly for pleasure; 50% read for at least 15 minutes daily; 63% preferred paper books or disliked reading on digital devices; 12% preferred ebooks.


Global education: 21st century skills

Charles Fadel, 21st Century Skills pioneer, delivered the 2017 Australian Learning Lecture – The New Success on 11 May. Young people are likely to have 17 jobs over 5 different careers in their lifetime. Skills needed: broad and deep education, versatility, entrepreneurship, robotics, wellness, creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, mindfulness, curiosity, courage, resilience, ethics, leadership, reflection, lifelong learning, growth mindsets. Fadel believes 4 dimensions of education are necessary: modernised knowledge, skills, character and meta learning. His 2015 book with Bernie Trilling: Four-dimensional education: the competencies learners need to succeed.


Preparing young people for the future of work

Australia’s education system is not preparing students for twenty-first century success. Young Australians are studying for longer than ever before but are disengaged and struggling to find permanent jobs. Young people entering technology-rich, global, competitive job markets need different skill sets to what our education system has traditionally valued. Schools need to broaden learning objectives. The most crucial capabilities for the future include critical thinking, creativity, curiosity and communication skills. It is time Australia made changes to prioritise teaching, assessing and reporting capabilities” (Torii and O’Connell).


Education Endowment  Foundation literature reviews

The EEF has conducted literature reviews on Digital Technology, Careers education, Literacy at the transition, English as an Additional Language, Education and neuroscience, Arts education, and Non-cognitive skills.


Evidence for Learning

This independent Australian site helps to build, share and use evidence to improve learning in all schools. Find out about new Australian education approaches and  Australian and global evidence summaries of 34 education approaches. Sign up for the newsletter.


Spaced Learning

Evidence from neuroscience and psychology suggests information is more easily learnt and recalled when it is repeated multiple times and separated by periods of unrelated activity. Neuroscience literature supports the use of shorter spaces between learning (around 10 minutes) and cognitive psychology literature supports longer spaces (around 24 hours). The study found that the most effective approach to spaced learning combined both 24 hour and 10 minute spacing between curriculum content.


Switched off students

Student disengagement is a major hidden issue – 40% of Australian students are regularly unproductive, bored and struggling to keep up with their peers. More students are fiddling with their phones, making snide comments and turning up late than are swearing at teachers or threatening classmates. Reasons include boredom, work too hard or not challenging enough, poor quality teaching and problems at home. An education system overhaul is required to deal with this. Recommendations include higher expectations for students; stronger teacher-student relationships based on mutual respect; encouraging active learning; encouragement; praise and not using ‘old-fashioned discipline’.

What’s new in ICT, popular culture, media and education?

Some interesting developments – artificial intelligence, robots taking our jobs, disengaged students, Generation Alpha, words of the year, great new films, TV and books….

Previous presentations about What’s New can also be found here.



ICT and media news

RUOK? survey reveals Aussies spend more time with screens than quality time with family and friends

We spend an average of 46 hours of our weekly downtime looking at TVs and devices, compared to 6 hours engaging with family and friends. About half of all Australians spend 2 hours or less weekly connecting with those who matter to them. Obstacles include distance, being too tired, being busy, housework and long work hours. Finding time in busy schedules is crucial. Strong and caring connections provide a safety net to help people cope with challenging times.


Deloitte Media Consumer Survey 2016

Their 5th edition- more than 2000 Australians aged 14 to 69 were surveyed. The survey provides a snapshot of how consumers are interacting with media, entertainment and technologies. Results include:


* Huge influence of social media – the #1 digital destination; 84% are on a social network

*61% use social media every day; 84% of younger millennials use it every day

*Most used social media sites: 1.  Facebook (92%) 2. Instagram (28%) 3. Twitter (24%) 4. (All equal) Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+ (18%)

*18% use social media sites as their most frequently used source of news (14% online papers; 6% print newspapers); many younger people use social media as their primary source of news

*Word of mouth is still the main influence on purchase decisions, followed by recommendations on social media (which has surpassed the influence of TV advertising)

*TV viewing, on any device, is the most preferred entertainment activity (62% rate it in top 3)

*Using the internet for social or personal interests is almost as popular as TV (60% rate it in top 3)

*Millennials prefer using the internet as their top source of entertainment; watching TV is the most popular with other generations

*Live programming is the most used method for consuming TV (42% of viewing time)

*Watching streamed programming is increasing (22% pay for a subscription)

*Millennials lead the uptake of streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Presto

*Almost everyone likes to binge-watch (74% millennials; 50% others)

* 88% multitask while watching TV

*66% own tablet devices

*86% of households own a smartphone and a laptop; 85% own a TV

*67% rank smartphones in their top 3 devices

*Social media apps are the most popular with millennials; banking apps are also popular with younger people; older people like weather apps!

*10% intend to buy a Virtual Reality headset next year

*21% own a fitness band and 11% own a smartwatch

*Millennials (age 14 to 32) lead the way in engaging with the digital media universe


Preferred entertainment activities of all respondents – including books!

  1. Watching TV (any device) 2. Using the internet 3. Listening to music (any device) 4. Going to the movies 5. Reading books 6. Playing video games 7. Attending live performances 8. Reading newspapers (print or online) 9. Listening to the radio (any device/format) 10. Reading magazines (print or online)

*Reading books (in any format) is rated by 25% of people as a top 3 entertainment activity

*Reading books (in any format) decreased in popularity by 8% compared to 2015, despite gains for the past 4 years.

*Reading books and playing video games are almost equal in popularity as a top 3 entertainment activity (25% for books; 24% for video games)

*Movie-going increased in popularity by 5% over the past year

*Aside from using the internet and watching TV, millennials also favour listening to music, going to the movies and playing video games

*Aside from watching TV and using the internet, boomers and matures also like reading newspapers and books


Good short video and infographic:

The report:


Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

Great to see Canberra born and raised author Anna Snoekstra  release her debut novel – a psychological thriller set in Canberra! The film rights were sold to Universal Pictures and the script has been completed by Erin Wilson (who wrote the scripts for The girl on the train and Secretary). The book follows the disappearance of 16 year old Rebecca Winter and the impostor who claims to be the missing teen 11 years later. The story is told in alternating chapters by both characters. Snoekstra said Canberra was the “perfect fit” for the setting, but the film sets the story in Arizona. Her next novel – Dolls – is due out next year.


“Only Daughter is a true psychological thriller. It is not just a little bit scary, or a little bit creepy – it’s an exploration into the psychology of young women; it’s a murder mystery; and on top of that, it’s completely riveting. This novel plays with the stereotypes of crime fiction by giving a voice to both the young woman Rebecca who disappears, and the woman who willingly takes her place…..It’s safe to say you won’t see the end coming.” (Melanie Joosten)



Review: “One woman’s dark past becomes another’s deadly future”:


From Bluebeard to Gone girl: why I’m proud to be part of the ‘domestic noir’ comeback by Anna Snoekstra. All those books about ‘burnt-out, middle-aged male detectives’ have been replaced by numerous titles with female protagonists.


Interview in Canberra City News:

Good TV and films

Good things from the ABC and some good upcoming films…..


iView Arts channel

Art, fashion, books, film, photography, music….


iView Arts programs include:



“A short-form digital complement to The Book Club – where books, reading culture and storytelling collide online”. Videos are 3 to 7 minutes.


The Word

Poetry from writers and performers from diverse backgrounds. Videos are 3 to 10 minutes.


Meet the mavericks

Featuring iconic artists, performers, thinkers, cultural leaders and all round troublemakers. It pairs guests from different generations and fields who have aspects of their work in common eg. Tim Minchin and Phillip Adams; Ben Quilty and Warwick Thornton.


The critics

Examines screen culture from feature films to web series and video art. Videos are 10 minutes.


Anh’s brush with fame

8 part series from Wed 24 Aug on ABC. Comedian and artist Anh Do paints a portrait of a well-known person whilst getting to know them and learning about their life and formative years. The celebrities also share personal photos and videos. First up is Magda Szubanski, followed by Jimmy Barnes, Amanda Keller, Dr Charlie Teo, Kyle Sandilands, Craig McLachlan, Kate Ceberano and Anthony Mundine. Anh was a finalist in the 2014 Archibald Prize.


ABC3 becomes ABC ME on 19 Sept

“The complete digital and broadcast service designed to reflect and celebrate the lives, interests and diversity of young Australians”. The channel is aimed at school-aged children and will have quality short and long form Australian and international content, with a new app that can be personalised. New programs include News to me (weekly pop culture review show); Prisoner zero (sci-fi action animation) and This is me (short documentary series). Returning programs include the acclaimed Nowhere boys, Little lunch and Behind the news. There will also be new strands that will allow children to share their ideas and opinions. ABC ME will be on Channel 23 free to air.


Good shows on the ABC for the remainder of the year…..

Man up – Looks at the disconnectedness of Australian men, mental health problems and suicide.

Jane Caro’s Compass series explores family relationships.

When TV was awesome – Short ABC archival gems get a comedy-mash-up makeover. Satirical, irreverent and shareable.

You can’t ask that – excellent insights into the lives of marginalised Australians who answer anonymous questions.

Looking forward to Upper middle bogan (series 3)….such a good show!


Some good films….


Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children

Directed by Tim Burton. Based on the  bestselling dark fantasy/horror young adult novel by Ransom Riggs, which was illustrated with unusual vintage photos of children. Following  a family tragedy, 16 year old Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, leading him to an abandoned orphanage on an island, inhabited by a variety of children with unusual traits and powers. Starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson. Rated PG. Opens Sept 2016.



Pete’s dragon

The adventures of an orphaned boy who is rescued after an accident by a giant green dragon who lives in a forest. Remake of the 1977 film musical. Stars Bryce Dallas Howard , Oakes Fegley and Robert Redford. “The elemental friendship between boy and beast and a lovely affirmation of family, community, and the preciousness of the natural world” (Tobias). Out now.


Fantastic beasts and where to find them

Prequel to the Harry Potter series, set in New York in 1926; the first in a film trilogy. Based on the book by J.K.Rowling/Newt Scamander (an approved textbook at Hogwarts). Follows the adventures of writer and introverted wizard Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. When Newt visits New York for a conference, a misplaced magical case leads to the escape of some fantastic beasts and an increase in violence, fear and tension between magical and non magical peoples. Directed by David Yates (who directed Harry Potter 5,6,7,and 8). Stars Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell. Opens 18 November.


A monster calls

Based on the acclaimed book by Patrick Ness (a very moving, sad but wonderful story). An ancient yew tree helps a boy cope with his mother’s terminal illness and face the truth about an incident in his past. Stars Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson as the voice of the monster. The trailer looks excellent. Opens Jan 2017.


Happy Book Week!

Literature quizzes

25 fun bookish quizzes:

Great opening lines:

53 best opening sentences:

100 best closing lines:


Better Reading

Australia’s largest annual celebration  of books and reading, encouraging everyone to pick up a book and read.

The first Top 100 list was launched in 2015:

Vote for your favourite book in 2016  and go in the draw to win Australia’s top 100 books. Entries close 31 Aug; top 100 announced 9 Sept. Titles can be fiction or non fiction from around the world.

Top 50 kids’ books:


Dymocks Top 101 2016

  1. The book thief 2. To kill a mockingbird 3. Pride and prejudice


Miles Franklin Award announced 26 Aug

Australia’s most prestigious literary prize is awarded to “a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases”.

Book lists and awards

Literary awards around the world – there are lots!:

Reading suggestions and awards:



The world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations (owned by Amazon). Lists, quizzes, trivia, quotes…

Goodreads Choice Awards:


New York Times Bestsellers

Truly madly deeply by Liane Moriarty at #4.


After something new to read? Try these…


All these perfect strangers by Aoife Clifford

Psychological thriller (Aust. author) with an unreliable narrator. Within 6 months of Pen starting university, three of her friends are dead and only Pen knows the reason why. “A novel of disquieting intimacy and controlled suspense” – Gary Disher.


Ancillary justice by Ann Leckie

Award-winning sci-fi novel, the first in a space opera trilogy. The only novel to win the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. Breq is the sole survivor of a starship destroyed by treachery. As the artificial consciousness of the starship, she seeks revenge on the ruler of her civilisation.


The trap by Melanie Raabe

Psychological thriller. “I know who killed my sister. I wrote this book for him”. Twelve years after the murder, Linda sees her sister’s killer on TV as a well-known journalist. She sets a trap for him by writing a thriller about an unsolved murder of a young woman.

Go books and reading!



National Reconciliation Week

Some resources for all ages to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority (ACARA) and also for National Reconciliation Week.


National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June

Reconciliation is about building better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. This year’s theme is Our History, Our Story, Our Future.

Reconciliation Australia also links to:

Share Our Pride –  an insight into the history, lives and cultures of Australia’s First People.

Recognise – the people’s movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution and to ensure that it is free from racial discrimination.


Some useful videos for National Reconciliation Week:


What is National Reconciliation Week – NITV (4 min.):

2016 National Reconciliation Week (1 min.):

Who we are (8 min.) – follows the lives of 6 exceptional young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who share their stories about their families and communities

Journalist Stan Grant’s powerful speech about indigenous history in Australia (8 min.):



National Indigenous Television informs, educates and entertains its indigenous and non-indigenous audiences about the issues that matter the most to indigenous Australians. Great documentaries, news, personal accounts and perspectives.  Includes Songlines on Screen (stories of indigenous peoples’ connection to land); The point with Stan Grant (current affairs through the lens of indigenous people); Jarjums (children’s shows).

20 inspiring black women who have changed Australia:

Colour theory season 3 – hosted by artist Tony Albert, starts 12 June. Explores the work of 5 indigenous contemporary artists.

Some indigenous works from Google Art Project:


SBS On Demand

A changing selection of films, documentaries and newsclips. Films with indigenous themes and issues include: Milpirri, The chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Jedda, Clouded history, The fringe dwellers, Yolngu boy, Manganinnie, When the natives got restless, Toomelah, North of Capricorn. You can also search for “indigenous” and “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander” programs.


Creative Spirits

“Learn about contemporary Aboriginal culture without agenda”. Many resources in many areas including history, arts, people, economy, law and justice, politics and media, spirituality. “Creative Spirits is an amazing collection of history and an inspiring representation of Aboriginal culture”—Michele Hetherington, Aboriginal woman from NSW.

Teacher and student resources: books, movies, music, TV and radio, infographics…


There are some excellent resources listed on the Reconciliation Australia site, including these below:




State of Reconciliation in Australia Report (2016) – Highlights what has been achieved under the 5 dimensions of reconciliation: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance and makes recommendations for the progress of reconciliation.


Talking to my country (2016) – Stan Grant. “An extraordinarily powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity…. what it means to be Australian; the sorrow, shame, anger and hardship of being an Aboriginal man and what racism really means in this country”.


Paddy’s road: life stories of Patrick Dodson (2003) – Kevin Keeffe. Explores “the life and political, cultural and spiritual beliefs of Australia’s first Aboriginal Catholic priest, land rights activist, Royal Commissioner and founder of Australia’s reconciliation movement. From the moment of colonisation in the Kimberley to the era of native title, from pearling to pastoralism, through missions and institutions, this Aboriginal family has survived an uncaring and intrusive state system”. Dodson is now a senator in WA.


Jandamarra (2013) – Mark Greenwood and Terry Denton. The epic and tragic story of Jandamarra, indigenous hero of the Kimberley. “To the settlers, he was an outlaw to be hunted. To the Bunuba, he was a courageous defender of his country. A unique insight into an extraordinary man and a dark but important part of Australia’s frontier history. Jandamarra is story for all Australians”.


Boomerang and bat: the story of the real First Eleven (2016) – Mark Greenwood and Terry Denton. The first Australian cricket team to tour England in 1868 was a group of Aboriginal stockmen. Led by Johnny Mullagh, they wore caps embroidered with a boomerang and a bat and impressed crowds with their exceptional skill.


Stories for Simon (2015) – Lisa Miranda Sarzin. “When Simon unwraps a beautiful boomerang wrapped in an old newspaper, he learns of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. Who were the Stolen Generations and how can saying ‘sorry’ help? Through a new friendship and a magnificent collection of stories, Simon gains a deep appreciation of the past and a positive vision for the future”.




Films and TV


Cleverman – ABC 6 part series begins 2 June.  Directed by Wayne Blair and Leah Purcell with an 80 % indigenous cast. In the near future, society fears a minority group living among them, as one young man struggles with his own power and the responsibility to unite this divided world. The series fuses an Orwellian/sci-fi/ superhero world with Dreaming stories. Can’t wait to see this!


Ready for this (2016) – ABC3 teen drama  12 episodes. Follows 6 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teenagers, all elite in their own field, who have come to Sydney to pursue their dreams, living at performance school Arcadia House and dealing with the challenges of growing up. From the producers of Dance Academy and Redfern Now.


Mugu kids – NITV. Hosted by indigenous actor, writer and director Jub Clerc. The program highlights a number of indigenous languages, including the Arrente language of Alice Springs and Hermannsburg, the Gumbaynggirr language of Nambucca on the coast of New South Wales, and the Gubbi Gubbi language from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Each episode covers a different topic, such as feelings, animals, dreaming and school.


Films and TV:


Black Screen

Part of the National Film and Sound Archive – lends DVDs of contemporary indigenous films to individuals and organisations for use at screening events.

Good books

More good reads…..


Australian Book Industry Awards 

These awards are decided by industry experts who select the best titles published in Australia each year. Last year the top award for Book of the Year went to the childrens’ book The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. This year’s winners include:

Book of the Year and Biography: Reckoning – Magda Szubanski.

General Non Fiction: Island home – Tim Winton.

Literary Fiction: The other side of the world – Stephanie Bishop.

Book of the Year for Younger Children: The 65-storey treehouse – Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton.

Book of the Year for Older Children: Illuminae – Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Publisher of the Year: Allen & Unwin.

Independent Bookseller of the Year: Readings.


Australian Book Industry Innovation Award

Winner: The Best of Friends Social and Emotional Learning Program. The program is aimed at primary school students, with stories and illustrations by Connah Brecon, Barbara Gonzalez and Lisa Diebold. Topics include making friends, social expectations, compromise, empathy, peacemaking, conflict resolution.

The program is part of Quirky Kid Psychology Clinic

Lots of good fact sheets and info re child psychology and wellbeing:

Books and resources:


7 books to read before they hit the screens

The girl on the train – Paula Hawkins. Last year’s bestselling mystery – a woman watches a couple on the train each morning and one day sees something shocking. Emily Blunt to star. Opens September.

Me before you – Jojo Moyes. A young woman becomes a carer for a young man and their lives are changed forever. Emilia Clarke to star. Opens June.

The light between oceans – M. L. Stedman. The award-winning tale of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who rescue a baby adrift in a boat and raise her as their own, with unforeseen consequences. Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander to star. Opens September.

Inferno – Dan Brown. Symbologist Robert Langdon must decipher codes within Renaissance artworks in order to save the world. Tom Hanks to star. Opens October.

Fantastic beasts and where to find them – J.K.Rowling. Set 70 years before Harry Potter; the adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. Eddie Redmayne to star. Opens December.

The BFG – Roald Dahl. The adventures of Sophie and the giant will be released as a film in June, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Mark Rylance. Opens July.

Big little lies – Liane Moriarty. The lives of a group of middle class women and their partners start to unravel and many secrets are revealed. The HBO series comes out in 2017, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.