Reading Australia is pleased to partner with the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) and ABC Education to present the 2022 My Place Competition! Open to Years 1–8 and all special education students, this creative writing competition asks children to reflect on change and continuity in their own places and communities.

The television series on which this competition is based tells the story of one Australian community through the eyes of the children who live there, starting in 2008 and going back before colonisation. This in turn was inspired by the award-winning picture book My Place, written in 1988 by Nadia Wheatley and illustrated by Donna Rawlins.

Now more than 30 years old, My Place continues to be beloved by teachers and students across Australia. Our teaching resource for the book was first published in 2015, and since then it has proven to be one of our most popular resources of all time, with more than 35,000 views and an average 4.78 star rating out of five.

The resource, which is aimed at students in Years 3 and 4, was written by our 2019 Reading Australia Fellow, Alex Wharton. He believes that My Place is a text with enduring value and relevance, even in 2022.

‘The book transcends time in terms of both content and visual appeal, making it just as rich now as it was in 1988,’ Alex says. ‘It offers students and teachers a window into how place and space can be understood and conveyed, and how this in turn shapes our identity as readers and as Australians.’

The reason My Place is still so effective, Alex feels, is that it grounds the reader in a sense of purpose: to read, understand, be informed and grow.

‘What a significant combination for a text to achieve in tackling issues of multiculturalism, belonging and change,’ he says. ‘My Place takes students on a journey of wider cultural and historical appreciation. We can all learn by sitting humbly and learning from those who have come before us.’

The My Place Competition will be open from Monday 15 August to Friday 16 September. Winning entries, to be announced in Term 4, will be published online and prizes will be provided by Walker Books Australia and the ACTF.

Visit the competition page for all the details, writing tips, rubrics and additional support material. You can also watch a fabulous author webinar with Nadia Wheatley herself in which she discusses this year’s writing prompt: change and continuity.

Good luck and happy writing!