Raised in country Western Australia, Phil was taught his traditional songs and dance and how to survive in the bush by his Elders.
All of his life, Phil has been on stage, in the limelight, always having to be the centre of attention. So, at age 20, Phil followed his passion and dream to become an international artist. He moved to the city of Perth and enrolled into the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) then onto Sydney to study at the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Academy (NAISDA).
It was here that Phil was introduced to many forms of dance and music, from traditional Aboriginal songs and dance from all over Australia to modern contemporary, tap, jazz and ballet.
Phil has also recorded a single that can be purchased here, with part proceeds going towards another fantastic local kids charity, Kidzucate.
Tim Winton began his first novel, An Open Swimmer (1982), at the age of 19, while on a Creative Writing course at Curtin University, Perth.
It won the Australian/Vogel National Literary Award, and he has since made his living as a full-time writer.
Born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1960, he is the author of several novels for adults, including Shallows (1986), a novel set in a whaling town, and Cloudstreet (1991), the tale of two working-class families rebuilding their lives, both won prestigious Miles Franklin Awards in Australia. A theatrical adaptation of Cloudstreet toured Australia, Europe and the USA to universal acclaim. His novel That Eye, the Sky (1986) was adapted for theatre by Justin Monjo and Richard Roxburgh, and also made into a film. A second film adaptation was made of In the Winter Dark (1988), featuring Brenda Blethyn. The Riders (1995) was shortlisted for the 1995 Booker Prize for Fiction, and also won a Commonwealth Writers Prize. Many of his books are set in his familiar landscapes of Western Australia.
His latest book, The Boy Behind the Curtain, is a collection of powerful true stories that have shaped Tim's view of life and fuelled his distinctive artistic vision.
Tim Winton is patron of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers sponsored by the City of Subiaco, Western Australia. Active in the environmental movement in Australia he has been named a Living Treasure by the National Trust, and awarded the Centenary Medal for service to literature and the community.
You can read Tim's guest blog post here.
Lara, is an Australian Rules footballer playing for the Fremantle Football Club in the AFL’s Women’s Competition as well as an emergency department nurse at Fiona Stanley Hospital.
Born in 1990 Lara had a troubled upbringing. At 13 years of age she was already showing early signs of mental health issues after a troubled and abusive childhood in a broken home. When her mother May died three years later, her life tumbled into a spiral of panic attacks, depression and suicidal thoughts.
The Fremantle Dockers AFLW star’s plight was then worsened by her fear and refusal to tell even those closest to her of her problems and she was diagnosed only with anxiety because she did not tell her doctors enough about her issues.
Lara decided to tell her story for the first time as part of her ambassadorial role with the Mental Health Commission.
After years of doing the opposite to talking about her escalating problems, the 26-year-old finally approached her Fremantle coach, Michelle Cowan, in January about her mental health problems.
It led to immediate testing that diagnosed her with bipolar disorder and the appropriate treatment regime that has turned her life around.
Forced out of high school as a teenager because of her bad behaviour, Lara was Fremantle’s highest vote getter, in fourth place, in the AFLW’s inaugural best-and-fairest-award.
She says football has saved her life.
The emergency department nurse at Fiona Stanley is often confronted with young people with mental health issues and hoped opening up about her journey would help others to find a way though their problems.
“There are a lot of people out there struggling with their mental health and no one seems to talk about it…my heart hurts sometimes,” she told The West earlier this year.
“Everyone needs to get the message out that if you are sick and need help, seek it.”
“The brain is like any other organ and if it needs help, you need to use the resources to get better. I’m feeling so much better in everything about myself. I see a very bright future.”
Lara uses meditation and is writing a book about her life story as a way of improving her mental health and her football.
Lara is a ‘hands-on’ Ambassador keen to talk to students about her story which many can relate to. She is quick to volunteer and help out where she can which we are very grateful for.