• Launch Pad Writers Club

Family Histories with Oxley Christian College - 2018

In 2018, the Year 7 English students at Oxley Christian College became the first High School to create a Launch Pad book. Students were encouraged to interview family members and capture a “family myth or legend” to be forever preserved as a short narrative.

There’s a story my grandpa used to tell me when I was a kid. I requested it often, and he’d recount the story from when he was a boy. I knew that story back-to-front, and thought I’d never forget it. A few years ago when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, my brother and I came up with an idea - to make a recording with Grandpa and preserve his stories. It is a great regret of mine that we didn’t do that. Now, I cannot remember that story he told me a hundred times, and neither can Grandpa. My great wish now is that I could remember that story, write it down, and put it in a book.

When Oxley College approached Launch Pad about making an anthology to preserve these such stories, I jumped at the chance. Students studying the book “Wolf on the Fold”, were tasked with interviewing the elders from their family, in an effort to dig up old family myths and folktales, and to write these tales as narrative stories, to then be preserved in an anthology book. Not only were they preserving these stories - they were sharing them. What a beautiful idea!To enrich the experience, we recruited Historical Fiction author Robert Verhagen - an expert in searching the past for stories - to teach us how to turn history into exciting narratives.

“It was so much fun. We all learnt so much and found it very interesting. Robbie and Ander made it fun by making everything interactive and social. It went for four lessons but only felt like one” - Brooke, Year 7 Student, Oxley Christian College
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