Ink of Light – Some Highlights

(Image credit: Ian Hallmond)

In May I presented at the Ink of Light Festival, A Writing Festival to empower authors of Baha’i background; this was the first festival of its kind in Australia.

Bahai’s are from a rich diversity of cultural and spiritual backgrounds and this can be expressed in their writing through diverse genres, and approaches.  Festival participants were from Queenslands’  Gympie, Byron Bay, Toowoomba, Redland, Moreton Bay, Brisbane as well as the Solomon Islands, and Wollongong, and Melbourne and Country Victoria.

Speakers focused on fiction with characters who are Baha’is (both detective fiction and junior youth), discussing the processes to creating well  written and researched history books,  spiritual education of youth, print on demand publishing for the Australian Bahai Publications future, poetry, as well as the art of photography and different kinds of creativity and how this can be combined with spiritual expression.

I spoke alongside presenters Boris Handal, Michael Day, Melanie Lotfali, Alan Manifold, Fazel Naghdy, Ian Hallmond, Linda Shallcross, Les Endrei,  Peter Warner, Derek Bland,  and Michael Cohen.

The day was MCd by Martha Golbarani.

There was some discussion of creative processes, both in workshops and panels as well as a creative exercise looking at and reflecting on photographs.

There was a display of books from presenters and attendees, and a big thank you to the Brisbane Baha’i Centre’s Bookshop and the Baha’is of Brisbane for allowing the use of the Baha’i Centre for the day.

My main focus was looking at the inspiration writing groups can have for individuals working on their craft and the fellowship they can provide.

There is much we can learn and contribute to the wider community of writers through not only what we write but the way we collaborate with others.

Writing can potentially be a bridge of understanding and connection between different cultures, religions and walks of life.

I shared some poems, as well as responses from readers of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds to a work in a progress, The Dreamers.

Mostly I encouraged writers at the festival to talk to, learn and support each other.

A big thank you to all the new friends and old friends I was able to connect with at this event, and especially to Ian Hallmond and all the other helpers and organisers such as Bizhan.

There are plans to hold the event again next year and keep developing it to explore other genres(such as perhaps song writing) and to expand workshops and performances.


Following images taken by June Perkins


Final image credit: from Ian Hallmond

Educate Empower, Workshops, Illumine and other News


Another review is now available for people wanting a preview of Magic Fish Dreaming.

To read it visit Educate Empower Blog  I just love this review because it gives such a great list of suggested uses of the book and the honest responses of a few young readers.

Educate Empower blog is an absolutely beautiful blog, full of inspiring book reviews, and wonderful in that it looks at the educative potential of each book for the parent who loves to not only entertain their children but have teachable moments.

I am so happy that they reviewed my book.

Currently I am working on a plan for the last few months in the lead up to Christmas.  I’ll let you know when and where that means Magic Fish Dreaming is traveling to outside of Brisbane !

Helene and I are excited to announce that we will be running two workshops through the Brisbane libraries in January 2018 – on visual poetry and including water colour technique this time!  Hooray! These will run for two hours, rather than one as our first workshops did and we just know they are going to be so enjoyable.

We really love the opportunity to work together again, especially inspiring others in their own creative capacity and bringing out that potential we hope!  And yes these workshops will be free to the public.

In other news my wonderful designer Heidi is working on the design of more children’s books.  Seems people like the work she did for Magic Fish Dreaming so much she is receiving job offers.  Well done Heidi, proud of you my creative sister!

In a couple of weeks, October 7 and 8th at 2pm in the afternoon I am running workshops on writing inspired by art at the Illumine Exhibition.  These ones are for youth and adults.  You can check out the booking link here  ILLUMINE POETRY WORKSHOPS WITH JUNE PERKINS.

Hope you are having the most beautiful creative time.  And enjoying writing for the pure joy of it.


World Literacy Day with the Kids of Botongon

Replay of the Livestream of the Event.

Skype view from my office – Australia

What a special day to meet and speak with the children of Botongon.  I thank my dear friend Mel Irvine, for taking the magic of Magic Fish Dreaming and sharing it with the children.

Mel tried to make it seem as much as possible as if I was there, and moved the camera a few times so I could see the whole gathering  and setting as well as introducing me to people. The local women who work with Mel are very impressive in their care for the children too.

It was amazing and quite overwhelming to think of some children arriving early and waiting for up to two hours outside the gate to run up the stairs to go the world literacy day event.

After welcome songs, and prayers, and me also thanking all of our ancestors I spoke.

We had some common ground and I spoke with them about Australia’s typhoon – Yasi and my family’s experience of it.  It was something that brought some memories back for all of us in two parts of the world where massive cyclones have occurred.

I loved hearing the children sing in a number of languages and was very impressed that one young man recited ‘Gecko’s dance.’

I read ‘Rain Song’ and encouraged the gathering to tell that rain to go away.  For a moment it was as if we were all yelling out at the typhoons/cyclones we have been through.

But it was lovely that the meeting was so positive, joyful and focused on education.   Mel showed me the library! And lots of children were reading.  I was sad to hear they had lost their school after the typhoon, but they did soon return to school in tents!

Soon everyone was smiling again through memory tears. There is something about sharing the experience of a natural disaster that can’t be explained in words.

You can watch most of what unfolded in the replay of the livestream.

The children  introduced themselves one by one, and really enjoyed going up to the microphone.

A big thank you also to Helene the illustrator of Magic Fish Dreaming, who was thanked at the meeting as well.  Her illustrations have played such an important role in attracting people into the  words of Magic Fish Dreaming.

It has been wonderful to see how people everywhere and all ages can relate through the power of poetry and memory.

The major highlight of this skype was to see so many smiling faces listening to poetry to someone all the way in Australia, and responding to the words which such warmth, emotion and enthusiasm.  A writer can ask for nothing more.

You can read more about this event and Mel’s work in the Philippines at her blog.

If you feel inspired maybe you can give some support to these dear children.

Images Courtesy Mel Irvine  – showing what was happening on the other end of the skype session and in the lead up to the day.



It was lovely to meet with Helene today as soon she is going overseas for Christmas and the last couple of months we’ve been in touch mostly by email.  Always lovely to meet in person!

41aeeffb1a31ec945ef3229aa49bc137871eb63e (1)We chatted about the project,  and I introduced Helene to the Magic Fish dreaming plushy family and guess what? Now a koala and a platypus are going on tour to France with Helene. Happy adventuring little ones.


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We are so excited about the chance to create this book. We had a look at a few inspiring books to keep up our creative thinking about the interior of the book.

Helene gave me some colour advice for the posters for kickstarter rewards so I am just reworking those a little.

I had so much fun showing her some of the things I have been making for the kickstarter rewards and she gave me some invaluable feedback and suggestions.

Last week I met in person with our prepress and codesigner, Heidi Den Ronden. She is looking forward to meeting the Helene in early January and I’ll introduce her on the blog soon.

A big thank you to a number of friends who sacrificed their time  and helped me clarify the cover design I wanted.  Zoe Faizi, Sharon Horsfall, Heidi Den Ronden, Jed Alexander and Helene Magisson, you were all such a big help. Helene and I were able to finalise a cover that aims to give the playful feel of the interior.

As we speak dear Matilda is looking over my Magic Fish Dreaming manuscript one more time as I have made a few changes to the manuscript. We’re finalising it for Helene to read.

I was delighted to read a couple of poems of Magic Fish Dreaming aloud, at an arts evening, Elevate, organised by Temily Eddington and Ruha Fifita. Thanks so much for the opportunity to do this.

Reading from Magic Fish Dreaming

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Who knows we may hear from the platypus and koala on their overseas adventures?

All the best to our supporters and to all helpers who are making the journey, one to remember!




Author and Illustrator Meeting – Magic Fish Dreaming

June Perkins and Helene Magisson – taken by Sheridan Perkins

It was wonderful to meet Helene today, as up until this point we have been working by phone and email so as to prepare the illustration samples for the upcoming kickstarter campaign.

Seeing the art in real space was just delightful, with some of the colours even richer than was possible to be conveyed in the initial digital copies. I’ll be taking them off for some professional scanning soon, as neither of us have one at home suitable for scanning the work to the quality we need. Maybe one day?

What did we talk about?  The process of how we’ve been working so far, possible timeline (which is looking good), and the place that inspired the poems. We looked at a few photographs of the Cassowary Coast, especially of the cane at different times of year, whilst my son played his guitar, and my daughter was creating characters for the upcoming CYA conference workshop she will be attending.  Actually Helene and I will also be there too with many of our other illustrating and writing buddies.

We’re both looking forward to the next creative leg of the book journey, but for now I’m, going into that other side, called budget mode, and kickstarter planning, whilst Helene is working on some of her other projects until I can give her a kickstarter green light.  More news soon!

If you could keep letting your friends who would be interested know about the project that would be just brilliant.