The ninth title in Therapy Focus’ Help a Child Grow storybook series has been unveiled at a book launch event on Thursday 25 August at the Perth Town Hall.
Entitled Outback Jack’s Great Race, the rhyming storybook features characters with disabilities and encourages readers to celebrate the unique talents and abilities of every individual. The illustrations were created by WA primary school students selected as winners in Therapy Focus’ 15th annual Art Competition.
This year close to 4000 entries were received from 59 schools across the state, including schools as far as Kununurra, Coolgardie and Albany. 100 finalists were selected and went on display at Westfield shopping centres in the July school holidays, where the community was invited to help select the winners by voting.
Storybook author, Krystal Cotterill, grew up in the remote town of Leonora and said that in writing the narrative she reflected on her childhood and shared an insight into indigenous culture.
“Writing this story has been an amazing experience and I’m honoured to have been a part of a project that embraces diversity and encourages inclusion of everyone in our community,” Krystal said.
“I’m just so impressed by the quality of the artwork and loved meeting all the talented artists who brought the story to life. They really captured the essence of the story, which was inspired by this year’s National Book Week theme, Australia.”
Therapy Focus Chairperson, Peter Mildenhall, joined Krystal in celebrating the outstanding achievements of the winners by awarding each student with a framed copy of their original artwork, a copy of Outback Jack’s Great Race and a prize bag courtesy of Art Competition sponsors.
Lake Joondalup student Paige McKenzie, whose artwork was chosen to feature as the cover, also received a $250 Youth Saver account courtesy of Commonwealth Bank.
With support from Art Competition Principal sponsor, The Stan Perron Charitable Foundation, a complimentary copy of Outback Jack’s Great Race will be provided to every primary school in Western Australia.
Copies of Outback Jack’s Great Race and previous titles in the Help a Child Grow storybook series are available for purchase from the Therapy Focus website. All proceeds from the sale of the storybooks go towards supporting the Art Competition and storybook project in future years.