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28 January, 2022

Story time in Toogoolawah

TEN clients of the Carinity Our House disability support service in Toogoolawah have become published artists and authors, having contributed their stories and images for the Our House Stories book.


The clients combined creative forces, unleashed their imagination and created their stories for the self-published 28-page collection.

The idea for the book developed after Carinity Our House staff member Tracy Dobson attended her local writing group.

“Each month we are given a prompt and have to write a short story of 500 words or less,” Tracy said.

“I had come up with an idea on how to start it and I thought I would get the group to contribute to the story.

“We had been doing some writing exercises at Our House and I felt they would enjoy participating in the planning of a story.

“I read out the beginning of the story then said, ‘What happens next?’ They came up with amazing creative ideas.”

The budding authors then started developing their own original narratives.

“When the story writers had done their first drafts, I offered them advice on the wording and assisted them with punctuation and editing,” said Tracy, who contributed her poem Little Arrows to the book.

Another contributor was Corrie Young, who has displayed his work in local exhibitions and painted the book’s cover image.

Fellow Carinity Our House clients Ashleigh Barry, Lisa Dean, Ryan Bagnall, Belinda Bagnall, Hugo Teske, Glenda Allen, Peter Hemsley, Amber Bennett and Shane Smith also contributed stories and illustrations.

Following the popular literary mantra of “write what you know”, rural life inspired Shane’s short story, The Cowboy’s Prayer.

“Some people have told me that my story, about a bull rider who wants to become world champion, made them cry. It was a great opportunity writing the book and I hope to make another book soon,” Shane said.

Carinity Our House Coordinator Maggie Poole said the Our House Stories project “showcases what people can achieve if they’re given the chance”.

“We are all about creating a sense of belonging and purpose for people living with a disability and provide them with opportunities for personal growth and enablement they might not have elsewhere in the community,” Maggie said.


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