The Painted Sky by Alice Campion – Book launch!!
Alice Campion kicked up her heels when she made her debut on Saturday night in a turn-of-the-century ballroom in Newtown.
About 250 people braved sweltering conditions to share refreshments (including home-made sausage rolls, YUM!) and to see the Alices work up a sweat signing more than 200 books that were brought and sold by the Better Read Than Dead bookstore.
The Alices made funny and heartfelt speeches, as did Beverley Cousins from Random House Australia, but the highlight of the night for me was the ‘Welcome to Country’ presented by Lawrence Shearer. Lawrence is the son of the amazing Aboriginal elder, Noeleen Shearer, from Brewarrina, who welcomed the Alices into her home when we travelled there to research The Painted Sky.
Lawrence spoke the names of all of the indigenous groups in every place that Alice went to research the book and the places in which we wrote. The room fell silent as his words echoed the songlines and dreaming lines of those places. And as he acknowledged the keepers of each particular area, we were transported back to each of these places again, under those painted skies.
Lawrence also presented each Alice with a gift from his mother - a small jar of ochre dug from the fish traps around Brewarrina. Alice was touched.