Skywriters: Writers and aspiring writers in the Parkes Shire are invited to join the Big Skies Collaboration Skywriters project to author stories, in any genre, about their own or other people’s relationships with celestial phenomena in our southern sky. The project is supported by the Regional Arts Fund and hosted by Arts OutWest. Big Skies Collaborator Dr. Merrill Findlay, is working with local libraries on establish- ing a constellation of Skywriters’ hubs, where she will offer Skywriters a series of free writing workshops, support from pro- fessional editors to author new works to publication quality. Finished works of up to 3,000 words – fiction, nonfiction, prose or poetry – will be published on the Big Skies Collaboration website, and may also be included in a Skywriters’ anthology to be published in 2019, the 50th anniversary of humanity’s first steps on the moon.
The launch of Parkes Skywriters is on Wednesday, 22nd March at 12pm at the library. Join Merrill and the Parkes Library team for lunch and an information session. Please RSVP on 6861 2309. If you are in- terested in becoming a Skywriter and are unable to make the launch register your interest with Shellie at shellie.buckle@ parkes.nsw.gov.au.
Biggest and best in the Central West: Last weekend’s CanAssist Garage Sale transformed the Parkes Showground pavil- ion into a bustling flea market. With nearly 300 people queuing to get in on Friday afternoon, the volunteer staff joked that it was like a Myer Boxing Day Sale – only all proceeds go towards locals with cancer. If you missed out on bagging a bargain this time, CanAssist will be holding another one on 18th March.
Free concert: The theme for the term one free concert on Wednesday, 5th April at 7:30pm at the Parkes Presbyterian Church is courage. Performers are encouraged to choose a piece that is not a cinch to play, but requires hard work. A small part of the concert will also be devoted to discussing strategies to overcome nerves when performing out of the comfort zone.
Anyone is welcome to participate; let Pam Parkin of Flourish Music Studio know by 29th March. Contact her on 0418 166 580
Colour run: Parkes NF Colour for a Cure is a group of locals organising Parkes’ first family friendly fun run with a splash of colour over 5km to run or walk on 19th March to raise awareness and funds for The Children’s Tumour Foundation. Any support will be welcome: taking part, donating money or gifts for prizes.
Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a group of three genetic conditions which gives rise to the potential for benign tumours to grow on nerves anywhere in the body. NF1, which affects one in 2,500, is a lifelong condition with a wide range of severity and has no cure. This cause is very close to the Parkes community as it directly affects two locals.
Hamish (13) was diagnosed with NF1 at the age of six months. He has hundreds of benign tumours growing on all his nerve endings throughout his body. He suffers from muscle weakness, learning difficul- ties and great deal of pain. He has been visiting Westmead Children Hospital every three months since he was five years old.
Emma (28), an Early Childhood Educa- tor, was diagnosed with NF1 at the age of three. NF1 causes benign, often painful masses to grow on her nerves. She is af- fected by low muscle tone, poor coordina- tion, early developmental delay and some low level learning difficulties. She has a long-term relationship with the Neurogenetics clinic at Westmead since the age of four, where she is part of continuing stud- ies into the long term effects of NF1.