‘Resilience, Courage, Compassion and Humour’: Author Nadia Wheatley Reflects on 2020 My Place Competition

‘Resilience, Courage, Compassion and Humour’: Author Nadia Wheatley Reflects on 2020 My Place Competition

What a joy and an honour it has been to meet young people around Australia through the stories they have sent in to the ACTF / ALEA My Place Competition! Their writing shows such positive energy as well as wise insights and thoughtful observations — not to mention resilience, courage, compassion and humour.

One entrant wrote:

It’s as though the coronavirus has been shining a light on the holes in my life and I am on a mission to fill them.’

And another said:

I am at least grateful that my family aren’t remote; that would be unbearable.’

And someone else observed:

‘All In All It Is Pretty Good To Be Home.’

I am a great believer in the fact that all of us — no matter how young we are, or how seemingly unimportant —  are making history at every moment of our lives, but these stories show that we are all able to make a difference to the lives of others just by simple acts of thoughtfulness.

I would like to thank everyone at the Australian Children’s Television Foundation for giving me the opportunity to be part of this great venture. Thank you, too, to the teachers, academics and literacy consultants who read the entries and helped prepare the shortlist, and special thanks to the Victorian branch of the Australian Literacy Educators Association.

Thank you to all the wonderful teachers, who during these difficult times added to their workload by organizing the entries from their schools.

But most of all: thank to the writers, one and all. These 3,200 entries are much more than stories. They are vitally important historical documents, chronicling the making of history at a significant time for humankind. I believe that they should all be kept in a safe place for young people of the future to read.

Best wishes, and Happy Reading!

Nadia Wheatley