Returning to the Motherland 2#

So, continuing on from my last post on zooming to Higaturu Oil Palm International School, PNG for a most memorable book week, here is more about the classroom itself. This image is what it looked like from the point of view of the students in the main zoom room, before we were allocated to our learning zoom room with the students and their teacher.

Zooming Book Week Image Courtesy HOPIS school

So how did we end up with a confident performance of a group poem by the end of book week (despite the challenges of working via zoom and classroom learning space combined) and a wall full of beautiful art and sense poems?

This is where the immense dedication of the teacher, her assistant and children, going with the flow of a physically distant author communicating and coming to terms with being on a large screen, and stuck there, makes a massive difference.

As I communicated, using voice, slide shows, and virtual white boards, Ms Gwendalyn, and Ms Cynthia, her assistant, would further explain it to the students. Zoom can be tricky as I couldn’t walk around the classroom, nor easily read the body language of students, like I normally do. The students could only walk up to the front to ask me questions, and sometimes felt a bit shy of the screen.

Although by the end of the week they knew to keep an eye on the whiteboard for surprises, such as Riddles!

It helped that they had the focus texts, of Magic Fish Dreaming and Michelle Worthington’s Possum Games with them to work from as well. These had been posted to arrive before Book Week in PNG began.

They became mentor texts for the students, to also learn about publishing, illustrating and cover pages.

We had a prior meeting on zoom the week before, with all presenting authors, Tina, Phil, Caroline, Albert and myself, meeting the teachers, and working out how we would proceed. I asked Ms Gwendalyn, to please put stickers on the children with their names, and she sent me a class list as well.

I ran the program by her, to check if it would be helpful for the students, and had a mix of activities to go with the books, such as art, drama, writing, all complementary to the text, as well as readings.

Although I have done many workshops this was my first time doing a sequence for a whole week, and in Papua New Guinea too, as normally I just have had two hour workshops so that was a blessing and a new challenge.

As part of the process we decided that each day it would be helpful for me to email Ms Gwendalyn, and just check in on how she felt the children had responded, as well as observing that during class time myself.

These consultations sometimes led to modifications for the next day which were beneficial for all. Although sometimes the messages took longer to arrive then we anticipated. That’s the internet for you.

I gave the students a sneak peek reading of a new anthology I have some new poems in which is edited by Michelle Worthington. We also spoke about the power of anthologies.

The immense benefit of working over a whole week with the students and their teacher was we could use each earlier class as a foundation to the next class and creative task.

We could expand and apply new concepts into their work from previous sessions. The main challenge, was just making sure to go with the flow of what was engaging the students, and extending them to just the right balance.

This meant every now and then, me or Ms Gwendalyn, making on the spot easy to implement decisions to alter previous plans.

By the end of this post series, I’d like to feature some of the work of the students, the school is just doublechecking with their parents that this will be okay as it is my hope to introduce these budding authors to you through their work. Perhaps some of them will choose the pathway of authors, designers, artists or playwrights!

Another amazing thing, was the warmth of the author team and some of the zany things we decided to do, like change our head gear everyday…

to be continued…

Kids Book Review Interview


Hooray!  Just letting you know that today there is an interview with June on Kids Book Review Interview   (done by Penny Harrison)

You can find  some earlier interviews here:

Readilearn Interview (with Norah Colvin)

ABC interview (sound cloud)

Poet Turns to Crowd Funding (sound cloud)

Karen Tyrrell Interview

Dimity Powell’s Interview

Ali Stegert Interview

Tales from Pasifika interview

Also of Interest!

Interview with Artist Helene Magisson

Article by Helene Magisson on the Story Behind Magic Fish Dreaming

Greetings from Friends for Launch

You can still post your greetings by commenting on this blog.

Wishing I could be there! Looking forward to pictures of the event. With love from

Kim on Vancouver island, Canada

Wow June! So wish I could come and help celebrate the launch. Love and Hugs

Jane Nicholsen, Atherton

Looking forward so much to receiving Eva’s copy. I will gift it to her on her 7th birthday in December. It will be treasured!

Happy thoughts for the book launch. have a wonderful time. So looking forward to sharing “Magic Fish Dreaming.” with my granddaughter. Arohatinonui from New Zealand.

Lorraine Gray,  New Zealand

June I’ll be just thrilled from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes – whenever it arrives.

Diane Finlay, Cairns

June, Congratulations on your amazing creations! You are an inspiration to me for following your dream! I cannot wait to get your beautiful poems and the delightful illustration So! What a team! ✨🐟✨ Cheers to you, Helene, and Magic Fish Dreaming! Keep up the good works!

Lenora Riegel, United States

Wishing you much success with this big day and encourage all those who can take part a wonderful collection of special memories. Unfortunately I’m unable to join you but will be thinking of you all and watching for post event posts.

Joanna Grimmer, Victoria

Good luck. May it be as joyous and as fulfilling for all of you as it should be! I will be there in spirit.
Stephanie Hansen, Artist and Soul Food Blogger, Canada

Wish I could be there too, June. Have a wonderful launch. I’ll be in Venice.

Sheryl Gwyther, Queensland Author, Visiting Venice

I pray that everything runs smoothly on Sunday for you.

Anna Gerard (Mum), Tasmania


I know how hard the journey is so make sure you celebrate 🎉 I can’t make it to the launch but where can I buy a copy please?

Bernadette Lawson, editor True Spirit of Cyclone Yasi

Wishing my friend June Perkins all the best for the launch of her stunning book of poetry, Magic Fish Dreaming on 30 October in Brisbane. Also looking forward to receiving a few copies and some Australian native plush toys for the kids here in the Philippines.

June is such an inspiration to me as a writer and creative. All her works come from a place of truth: the truth of nature, of family and cultural identity. Her daily dedication to sharing her knowledge with the wider community is really inspiring.

One of my first memories of June was at a songwriting workshop in 2012. June performed a song about her brother and the tragedy of his life. I can still hear her soft voice and the guitar strumming to the words … “you climbed out the window last night”. Her work has always impacted me like that.

Even though I won’t be home in time for her launch in Brisbane, I hope to be in one of the queues to have my book signed on the Gold Coast in November.

Magic Fish Dreaming promises to be journey into the rainforests and dreaming places of Far-north Queensland. I really can’t wait.

We don’t even have to live in the same country to have a beautiful friendship June.

Melinda Irvine, Philippines 

From: Hazel Menehira < Date: Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 8:28 AM
Subject: RE: Launch of Magic Fish Dreaming – Children’s Poetry anthology
Good luck and many blessings  for the book launch…I will be thinking of you all on the 30th….ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hz/Hank

Congratulations on the book. It looks absolutely stunning, and I’m sure the words are beautiful too. Much Love,

Natalie, Canberra.

Congratulations on the book launch June Perkins its such a huge and magnificent achievement to accomplish. Where can I find a copy to buy online? I want to start reading it to my nephews.

Dan Sione Faavela, New Zealand


cardfromwritingfriends3 cardfromwritingfriends

The Licuala WINQ Writers Group


I so wish I could be there! Enjoy and celebrate you movement forward and fruition of your book!

Sally K, United States



Guest Blogs

Thanks for this blog Writelinks.  Original Article here: Writelinks


Magic Fish Dreaming Project Fans we would love your help!


Dear Fans,

This dear little Tasmanian Devil goes to the project fan who can share about Magic Fish Dreaming, as many times and as creatively and enthusiastically as possible in the next 48 hours, twitter, any of their social media, email, and in person.

Just email me the links and number of times or how it went when talking to someone and I will announce the winner on Wednesday.

You can reach me at and also leave your links in the comments.

Why a Tasmanian Devil – they are from June’s childhood state Tasmania and have been undergoing a battle to survive.

All the information you need is on our facebook page,   this blog and kickstarter page (see links in comments)

Be sure to include the link to the kickstarter page.

Thanks so much!

Love, The Magic Fish Dreaming Team.

Magic Fish Dreaming Facebook Space


MAKE SURE TO SHARE THIS LINK and make sure you can click through on it.

(Reblogs are great as well!)

(special note: providing we can post to your country)


Videos Almost Done

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I’ve been hard at work on the videos for during the kickstarter.

I decided to make a few short videos, and one that’s around 3 minutes.

This is partly due to people scanning through things so quickly on the internet you just need to make sure you have something that can say things in a catchy and short way.

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It was interesting deciding the best way to show the images on film, and Helene sent me some videos of illustrators that she liked so I could study the editing style.

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This was extremely helpful and gave me lots of inspiration to how to film her illustrations. So thanks so much for that Helene.  One of the things I loved  about the examples she sent me was how the camera pans and zooms could highlight the details within the picture and give the viewer an appreciation for the details in the art.

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My colleagues at Children’s Book Academy looked over the video and gave me some constructive feedback as to how they felt the videos could be even better.

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Writelinks buddies  continue to be a wonderful support, encouraging and inspiring, as many release and launch their own works.  I am so delighted at how excited they are about this book!

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I thank all the faithful followers of the blog, facebook, and other spaces.  Helene, myself, Matilda and designers and printers, can’t wait to finally get the ball rolling. So close now!