Queensland Writers Centre is heading west and helping communities re-author their stories and send them out into the world. In partnership with Rotary Longreach and Queensland Health, through their Tackling Regional Adversity Through Integrated Care (TRAIC) program, we’re delivering a new community-driven arts-health initiative known as ‘Best of the West’. QWC tutors have enthusiastically embraced this initiative, offering their services as teachers and mentors to support Central West residents to tell their stories – whether for personal expression, social connection or to reach a wider audience.
At the heart of the project is our newest team member, Michael Lloyd. Based in Longreach, Michael is on a mission to encourage, inspire and assist Central West community members to share their stories of resilience. This is a long-term drought-affected area and it’s important that we recognise the resilience of the people who live there. Best of the West aims to empower the community to tell their stories rather than have a narrative imposed on them. It’s a celebration of life in Western Queensland that values the work being done in the community and aims to showcase their activities to attract more engagement with the region.
As a Longreach resident, Michael is an active community member and ready to help people throughout the Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall and Winton area to tell their stories. Michael has followed an unusual path to his current role. From the age of ten Michael knew that he wanted to be an accountant. He announced this to his family by presenting them with a budget. By the age of 17 he was president of his local cricket association and district president at 18. After gaining tertiary qualifications in accounting, HR, IR and management, Michael developed his career in sports management.
Since arriving in Longreach, Michael has been developing his own writing skills through media work in newspapers and on radio. He has taught in remote communities and lived in Darwin for 12 years with his wife and son. Michael is looking forward to working with the staff of QWC to assist the Central West community to tell their stories to the world.
The Best of the West program launches in August, 2019. Look out for updates in Pen & Pixel and if you’re in the area, please get in touch with Michael.