Aboriginal poet Esther Gardiner has teamed with Arts North West to improve her writing abilities through a mentoring program.
As a talented writer already, Esther published her first book of poetry ‘Precious Memories’ in 2016, and will launch her second edition this October.
With an ultimate goal of teaching Aboriginal children to write poetry, Esther said the mentoring program will help.
“I want to tell people about my Aboriginal culture, my poems are how I share my culture. I have been writing them for years,” she said.
Inverell councillor Paul King first met Esther when working as the manager of the Linking Together Centre.
“Esther was so talented but very shy. One day she showed me one of her poems she’d handwritten and it was so good I got the girls to type it out and include it in the Linking Together Centre’s newsletter.
“Since then, Esther’s poems have done so much to close the gap. Her poems reach out to everybody in every culture, and they’re saving her culture which is the oldest in the world,” Cr King said.
Although Esther couldn’t choose a favourite, she said Tingha, My Family, My Country and Dreamtime Butterfly had a lot of meaning behind them.
Inverell Shire Council also purchased Esther’s first book as a gift for new Australian citizen who undertake their citizenship ceremonies in town.
“Me and my sister Jill picked out poems for my second book, there were so many poems. The launch will be on October 18 at the library from 1pm,” Esther said.
The award-winning poems have been read out at certain event and hang on the walls of Inverell hospital, Armidale hospital and Inverell’s police station.
“Peter Caddy has also been a big help to Esther. It’s a real pleasure to be her friend and help her on her journey,” Cr King said.
Esther was also invited by the First Nations Australia Writers Network (FNAWN) to go to Canberra for an all expenses paid forum.