Hear Hazel Edwards on creativity – keynote address

Book here buttonAcclaimed author and educator Hazel Edwards will deliver a keynote address at the Immigration Museum as part of the Arts Learning Festival.

In an address for teachers and parents, Hazel will speak on Creativity is the fun and skills of putting together unexpected ideas, at the Immigration Museum on Wednesday 3 May at 4.30 pm.

Hazel is best known for her popular children’s series There’s a Hippopotamus on the Roof Eating Cake.

But that’s only part of the Hazel Edwards story. She has more than 200 books published, runs writing workshops, mentors writers, and is a reading ambassador and passionate educator.

In 2013, she was awarded an order of Australia Medal for services to literature.

Her address will include reflections on the children’s book, Hijabi Girl, which she co-wrote with librarian Ozge Alkan. The fictional children’s book’s main character is eight-year-old Melek, her enthusiasm combined with a sense of humour.

Unable to find a book character in a hijab for the book parade, Melek writes her own. Later, she starts a girl’s football team.

In 2012, Hazel Edwards was speaking at a literary event. In the audience that day was Ozge Alkan, a librarian at an Islamic school.

The award-winning author and the educator clicked, with Hazel accepting an invitation to visit Ozge’s school.

But there was more. Ozge explained that she was unable to fulfill a student’s request for a book with a young girl character in a hijab to dress up for their book parade.

‘Could you write one?’ she asked Hazel.

Hazel suggested Ozge write her own book, because she knew the culture. Ozge suggested they co-write it.

The result of that collaboration was Hijabi Girl, illustrated by Serena Geddes.

Her keynote address on creativity promises to be both fascinating and stimulating.

‘Our students need opportunities to risk, both intellectually, creatively and physically,’ says Hazel.

‘And they need opportunities to ‘play’ with art forms to find the most appropriate for their idea or audience. They also need to cope with rejection. And thus learn to problem-solve.’

Hazel’s remarkable career as an author and educator has been a tour de force of risk taking, of trying different and challenging approaches.

She has worked on an Australian Antarctic Division expedition as part of her research and her polar ice ship was beset in pack ice.

Hazel’s website is a wonderful resource for all aged readers and educators.

Her memoir Not Just a Piece of Cake: Being an Author candidly explores the creative challenges of being a long term author who also has a family.

The Arts Learning Festival is fortunate to have Hazel as one of our festival ambassadors. You can watch her video message of support

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