Stories are powerful. They shape the way we think about the world, ourselves and each other. The stories we choose to present to students at school, as teachers and librarians, profoundly affect how students perceive the world and their place in it. We want to help you choose culturally diverse resources that reflect students’ diverse lives, promote inclusion, challenge stereotypes, confront racism and ultimately strengthen our multicultural society.
Part 1 – Why cultural diversity in literature is important
Online Panel Discussion with Remy Lai, Solli Raphael, and Cath Moore
Wednesday 9 September, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
- $10 – LMERC / SLAV / VicTESOL members (including other state & territory TESOL associations affiliated with ACTA)
- $20 – Non-members
In part 1, join us as Remy Lai, Solli Raphael, and Cath Moore discuss why culturally diverse literature is important and provide insights into their work.
Remy Lai writes and draws stories for kids. She is the author and illustrator of Pie in the Sky and Fly on the Wall (Macmillan US and Walker Books Australia), both of which are graphic novel/prose hybrid books. Her middle years graphic novel Pawcasso will be published in 2021 (Macmillan US). Remy studied fine arts, with a major in painting and drawing.
Many of the characters in Lai’s books grapple with the dislocation of moving to a new country, learning a new language and trying to make sense of it all.
Remy was born in Indonesia, grew up in Singapore, and currently lives in Brisbane, Australia, where she can often be found exploring the woods with her dogs.
At 12 years of age, Solli Raphael was titled the youngest ever winner of the Australian Poetry Slam held at the Sydney Opera House after he performed ‘Australian Air’ – a poem about political wisdom, environmental awareness and the importance of social consciousness. He then rose to fame after his winning performance was viewed online over four million times in 24 hours. Now 15, Solli is a globally renowned poet and keynote speaker; having led workshops; performed and spoken at conferences, schools and universities. Additionally (and passionately), Solli is an environmental activist and humanitarian who works closely as an ambassador for four charities and organisations.
Solli’s first book Limelight, was published in 2018 and has received accolades for its capacity to engage students in poetry, having also won a Nautilus Book Award in 2019 for best middle-grade nonfiction. Solli’s second book, Spotlight, will be released in September 2020.
Cath Moore is of Irish/Afro-Caribbean heritage. She was born in Guyana, raised in Australia and has lived in Scotland and Belgium. She now lives in Melbourne. Cath is an award-winning screenwriter, a teacher and a filmmaker. Metal Fish, Falling Snow is her first novel.
The panel will be moderated by Lenny Robinson from The Stella Prize.
This series of professional learning events is a result of collaboration between staff from the Languages and Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC), the School Libraries Association of Victoria (SLAV), Stella Schools, and VicTESOL.
About the Organisers
The School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) offers dynamic and inspiring opportunities for teacher-librarians and library teams to build their essential role in engaging and developing lifelong learners. Through leadership, advocacy and collegiality and an extensive professional learning and publications program.
Stella is an organisation that champions cultural change through recognising, elevating and celebrating Australian women’s writing. It includes the annual Stella Prize award for women’s writing, the Stella Count, which examines gender bias in book reviewing and Stella Schools, which develops programs that seek to inspire and empower young people to find their own creative voices, challenge stereotypes and imagine a future not limited by their gender.
The Languages & Multicultural Education Resource Centre (LMERC) is for educators across all sectors K-12. LMERC provides resources in the areas of English as an Additional Language (EAL), Languages other than English, the Intercultural Capability and the cross curriculum priorities areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and Sustainability. The library holds an extensive collection of over 25,000 resources in all formats for educators across all sectors and at all levels, early childhood to adult. Library membership is available free to teachers from these educational settings: early childhood centres (in receipt of government funding), schools F-12 across all sectors, pre-service teachers and lecturers (in the areas of EAL and languages), homework clubs and community language schools. Home school parents, teachers of adults and community workers in education roles are also welcome to join.
Notes about attending a VicTESOL online event:
Prior to this event, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar using the online platform Zoom. We suggest you test the link on your computer and that you allow time to download Zoom if required. The software should automatically install when you click the link, but if you have difficulty you can refer to this help information or email victesol [at] victesol.vic.edu.au. It is recommended that you carry out a pre-meeting test check to ensure that your audio settings are configured correctly. You are welcome to join the session 10-15 minutes early to check that the link is working.