We are thrilled to introduce you to the winner of our ‘Win a trip to the AATE/ALEA Conference’ competition!

Name: Deborah Peters

School: Georges Hall PS

This year is teaching: Kindergarten

Fun fact: has been a part of the Salvation Army since childhood.

Deborah’s winning entry was a unit of work that integrated activities from the Reading Australia resource for Are We There Yet? and the Geography topic ‘Australia’. She effectively demonstrated how teachers can adapt Reading Australia resources to suit the needs of their classroom. She very kindly answered a few questions below:

1. Which Aussie author or illustrator would you most like to have dinner with and

I would most like to have dinner with Christobel Mattingley, author of the trilogy about a Bosnian family: No Gun for Asmir (1993), Asmir in Vienna (1995) and Escape from Sarajevo (1996). I first came across Christobel’s work whilst at University and I chose her for my Author study. Reading her books stirs some strong emotions in me, particularly the story of Asmir. Her ability to bring rich images to mind and draw the reader into the story through language is delightful. As you read her books they come alive, you can feel the atmosphere, thrill, disappointment, and despair of the characters, you can smell the aromas of the food and the taste of Grandma’s mousaka or the smell of rain on the grass or the stench of a burning city. Mattingley’s use of figurative and descriptive language in her books is just amazing. If I had dinner with her I would want to discuss some of her books and the motivation behind them. I would like to find out about Asmir and his family and their life now.

2. What are you looking forward to the most at the AATE/ALEA conference and why?

I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet teachers, authors, illustrators and other people that are passionate about literacy. I hope to build my knowledge and skills through workshops and master classes but also make connections with other teachers and professionals so that we can continue to develop literacy in Australia. I would also like to share these new found skills with my fellow teachers and develop exciting programs for students in my school.

3. What is your favourite book on the Reading Australia list and why?

This is a tricky question, as a lover of books for children, young adults and myself. Asking me which one book on the Reading Australia book list is my favourite is like asking a parent which child is her favourite.

So many books spring to mind and all for different reasons. Some because they bring back memories of my childhood, school days, time spent with family or those that provoke strong emotions in me and strike a chord with the social justice part of my life. I recall sitting with my mother as she read Mulga Bill’s Bicycle to me or reading I Own the Racecourse and Storm Boy in high school. Books like The Arrival, Once, Refugees or Mahtab’s Story are some of the books that strike a chord. As a teacher of infants/lower primary I love Are We There Yet?,  A Year on Our Farm, Who Sank the Boat?, Amy and Louis and Where the Forest Meets the Sea.