Talented award winning Western Australian author Mark Greenwood visited SIDE this week and spoke with Humanities and Social Science students about his historical research.

His Webex presentation provided an insight into the way in which his historical research for his books is conducted. It was timely because all Year 7-10 HaSS students are currently researching their own historical inquiries so Mark had one session for this group. In the second presentation Year 11 and 12 History students had an opportunity to think about stories that are embedded in major historical events.

Mark used examples from several of his books including Simpson and his donkey and Jandamarra to discuss how his ideas for books come from his own reading, objects that come to his attention, or his visits to particular locations. In the first session he spoke about visiting the beaches and war graves of Gallipoli before writing Simpson and his donkey. In the second session he focused more closely on the understandings he developed over the years while writing Jandamarra. He spoke particularly of his visits to significant locations in the Kimberley such as Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge. He also discussed the close relationship he feels to the Bunuba people, the custodians of Jandamarra’s story, who provided guidance and knowledge of the special sites associated with the story.

Students commented to their teachers after the sessions:

I'm so glad I went to that Webex; it was brilliant. Can you pass on to Mark my appreciation and let him know that I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it? He came across with such passion and I was inspired and intrigued by all his stories. Nathan, Year 12.

Mark Greenwood brought back into perspective the pleasure that can be found in analysing the past and asking simple questions about the intentions of historical figures before diving into complexities. Sencia, Year 12

I really enjoyed the Webex with Mark Greenwood today and found it very helpful. Thank you for the work you did to make that happen. Kristy, Year 12.

If you would like to borrow one of Mark’s books, follow this link to the SIDE Library Resource Centre.

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