Dr June Perkins, is of Mekeo (Papua New Guinean Indigenous) and Australian heritage. For the past fourteen years she has been implementing her research on ’empowerment through writing and creativity’ (Doctorate from the University of Sydney) into designing and mobilising increasingly complex practical cross arts and interactive projects which empower communities and individuals to deal with challenges they might have, working from their strengths and increasing their capacity. Her work is based on models of participatory action theory combined with intercultural sensitivity and experiential knowledge.
June recently became one of the researchers listed with the MANA research Centre. She looks forward to doing collaborative research, whilst maintaining an ongoing practice of implementing practical programs as a result of those findings.
Projects have included:
Producing, editing and publishing three books (including one for children and families), several multi-arts exhibitions, public performances of group created works, project and group blogs, empowerment articles on practical skills for creatives, mentoring writers living in regional areas, workshops, panels, moderating online groups, crowd funding and increasingly commissioned creative and non-fiction writing, executive production, and photography.
Articles on Practical Skills for Creatives
Perkins, J (2018) Thinking Outside the Networking Box, Ink from Light, Baha’i Writers Festival, (May 2018) – festival presentation now being written as article- will announce where published.
Perkins, J (2017) https://marketingyourbook.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/dare-to-dream-a-sustainable-life-as-a-creative/ (Accessed 23rd July 2017)
Perkins, J ( July 2017) Mentoring, Buzz Words Magazine
Perkins, J (2016) How to Crowd Fund a Poetry Book,QWC online magazine. (no longer accessible unless member)
Perkins, J, ‘Documenting Disaster Recovery for Beginners,’ ABC Open, https://open.abc.net.au/explore/86598(27th January 2015)
Illumine (2018) was a mini festival by a collective of professional Queensland based artists, all of them Bahá’ís, from diverse cultural backgrounds – Ruha Fifita, Minaira Fifita, Temily Calabro and June Perkins. A sister event was organised by the Byron Bay community, NSW, featuring mainly local artists Helene Safajou, Sara Gore, Dr Ruth Park, Francoise Teclemariam, and Deborah Jorgensen.
The festival featured, painting, photography, poetry with photography, dance and workshops. One of the workshops which June ran was on the power of art to inspire writing. Participants spent time with the exhibition before embarking on their own creative writing.
Magic Fish Dreaming (2016 publication date) In this project, June trained to crowd fund, and then immediately after completing that successfully kickstarted her book’s publication. The project extended her knowledge and understanding of creating a product to connect with audiences, professional production, distribution and marketing.
Magic Fish Dreaming consists of poetry for children and families focused on the power of imagination, creativity and encouraging care for the land and environment. The text encourages dramatised readings, explorations and dialogue between readers old and young. This book was inspired and made possible by earlier projects, and enhanced by the engagement of a professional illustrator, editor, and designer to bring it to fruition. The book won three Royal Dragon awards and was favourably reviewed and received by the children’s literary community.
Gumbootspearlz Press was one of the outcomes of this project, and is something that June can potentially continue to develop as an Independent Press to publish up and coming Pacific authors, or multicultural or Pacific Baha’i writers. She has just taken out associate membership of the Small Press Network whilst she builds skills and resources towards this.
After Yasi – Finding the Smile With (2011-2015) focused on the various ways creative processes and group creation of products can assist in the creation of community and individual well being after a natural disaster. It resulted in documentary videos, photographs, a dedicated blog, book, ebook, video documentation, and series of workshops and exhibition. It involved capacity building through coordinating with ABC Open to visit the community to run workshops. You can view June’s work as an ABC Open Contributor for as long as the site is active
Under One Sky (2010) focused on the creation of the Licuala Writers first anthology. The anthology featured fiction, memoir, and poetry by Cassowary Coast Regional Writers and the wider community. Edited by June Perkins, Pam Galeano and Tara Webster. Illustrated by Sal Badcock 100 pages, black and white illustrations, colour cover.
Ripple (2007) The original aim of the project was to encourage the creation and appreciation for poetry in the Cardwell shire (now part of the Cassowary Coast), through a series of innovative workshops and the creation of a community poetry wall to be launched during the National Poetry Week. Another goal was to reinvigorate the writing community of Cardwell by giving them a focus, and inspiration to get writing groups meeting on a regular basis. This project encouraged writers to work across the genres, of photography, text and art and encouraged Cardwell’s young people to express themselves this way as well. The project resulted in several workshops with students in state schools and Indigenous women, and local writing group members, (capacity building in writing poetry for diverse age groups and cultures). An unexpected outcome was the building of the capacity of coordinator to write for children and the reestablishment of the dormant local writing group. The blog now features poetry, guest poets, and articles on writing poetry.