POWERFUL WORDS: Kathryn Ash from JUTE Theatre Company, Janelle Evans (middle), Douglas Graham
POWERFUL WORDS: Kathryn Ash from JUTE Theatre Company, Janelle Evans (middle), Douglas Graham Contributed

Mighter than the sword

TWO Woorabinda locals have been awarded scholarships, along with eight other Central Queenslanders, as part of a collaboration between the Central Queensland Regional Arts Services Network (RASN) and the inaugural Capricorn Coast Writers Festival, which has also been supported by Keppel Coast Arts.

Douglas Graham and Janelle Evans are looking forward to telling the history of their region through the ongoing script development and writing support they will receive as part of the scholarship.

RASN Regional Arts Officer Julie Barratt said Mr Graham and Ms Evans had both taken part in weekend script writing workshops with JUTE Theatre Company at the Yeppoon festival and would also complete nine online writing modules, Write Out Loud, with the Write Sparks program, as well as a second workshop in October.

Ms Barratt, based in Central Queensland, said the scholarships allowed RASN to work cross-regionally with other local government areas to promote writing, theatre and the arts in rural and remote regions.

The professional development package has been developed to guide participants through the writing process of creating new performance work.

"It's about lifting our gaze and offering these development opportunities to people living regionally and remotely rather than it just happening in this one region.”

Woorabinda scholarship recipient Mr Graham said he had been working for the State Library on the Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Woorabinda and was also recently involved in creating the Woorabinda Arts Group.

"We thought that it would be good to have a local focus group for art in the region.”

He said he had also been talking to the Central Highlands Council about a co-exhibition - maybe a travelling exhibition - to showcase the art.

He said he enjoyed the workshops as he met many different writers and screenwriters over the four sessions.

"It brought back the memories of when I used to do the workshops as part of the Australian National Playwrights Conference, which was a great group to cater for writers with theatre in Australia.

"It was like the art of writing and structure had been pushed back into the back of my mind.”

Mr Graham, who has also written about 40 songs, said he was now aiming to bring the stories and the history of Woorabinda to the stage.

"I'm on this journey, it's a good journey, and everything has been put on my path.”

Janelle Evans said she had also enjoyed the workshops and would be working with Mr Graham on the stage play.

"I've done storybook writing and other types of writing and now I think what we learnt on the weekend will still be relevant and will benefit us in all sorts of writing.

"The pen is mightier than the sword - I really believe that,” she said.

"I like writing about whatever tickles my fancy at the time depending on what I'm feeling.”