Year 10 students were fortunate to have virtual meetings with author and activist Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah. Dr Randa is an Australian Muslim writer of Palestinian and Egyptian parentage. She talked about her experiences growing up as a Muslim in Australia, the issues she faced and how they shaped her as an adult. Her first novel, Does My Head Look Big in This?, was published in 2005 at the age of 18. Her most recent book is titled Coming of Age in the War on Terror. She told students that if they want to write convincingly about humans and the lives they lead they need to start understanding who they are. First, she tasked them to write a few sentences about themselves. Next, she asked them to reflect on when they might have seen an injustice and the impact it had. Students created a mind map of who they are and what they are most conscious of in their environment.
From there, they were tasked to write a song lyric on Thailand and what it means to themselves. She asked students to look at every day interactions where the metaphors of life play out. Ultimately, she wanted them to tell their story of Thailand stripped of all the myths and slogans. Teachers and students were excited to take these lessons on writing and activism back to the classroom where they will produce their own song lyrics.