Did you know that Darwin is a Mecca for writers, artists, and all souls creative? In my three months in the Top End, I have been published in the NT Writers Anthology, been shortlisted for a literary prize, participated in a left-of-centre Writers’ Group called ‘Write Now’, been invited to Government House for a Poetry reading, and to crown it all, launched my first novel.
As if this cornucopia of writerly delights were not enough, the city of Darwin offered further delights: Brilliant theatre, dance and music at the vibrant Darwin Festival, held annually in August, monthly meetings with Darwin poets under the canopy of trees in a Coconut Grove café, an exhibition of Darwin’s fascinated history curated by the historians and presented at the prestigious Northern Territory Library, and the annual Indigenous Art Awards (NAATSIA) held in the sunlit grounds of the Museum, with stunning views of the sunset over the Arafura Sea.
There have been author talks, award-winning theatre, concerts, and debates. ‘Women in the Spotlight” featured the former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Clare Martin, Alana Valentine,the playwright who created “Letters to Lindy” and the NT Children’s Commissioner, Colleen Gwynne, who helped to expose the shocking treatment of children in detention. Over these magic three months, I have had a feast of cultural and sensual delights, and many surprises. I even won the door prize at the NTWriters’ Awards! A rare occurrence indeed. The prize went to Mary Ann Butler, playwright extraordinaire, for her award winning play, “Broken”, a sensation both in Australia and overseas.