Brilliant News

photo by Heidi Den Ronden

I am so excited to announce I have been selected for a mentorship to work on one of my picture book manuscripts.

Thirteen talented writers have been selected as mentorship recipients under the ASA’s Emerging Writers’ and Illustrators’ Mentorship Program.

Congratulations to all other recipients. May we all have the best year ever!

“Applications were addressed on literary merit, with reference to their genres.

The twelve writers awarded Copyright Agency supported mentorships are:

Elizabeth Bryer (Literary non-fiction)
Steve Fraser (Fiction)
Denise Cummins (Fiction)
Dr June Perkins (Children’s)
Alison Quigley (Fiction)
Nadine Craneburgh (Young adult)
Scott Williamson (Young adult)
Claire Roberts (Poetry)
Siang Lu (Fiction)
Jake Goetz (Poetry)
Amber Moffat (Picture book/text only)
Frances Olive (Children’s)

The children’s writer awarded The Edel Wignell Mentorship is:

Marian McGuinness

The five highly commended applicants are:

Vanessa Fairbrother (Young adult)
Orsolya Parkanyi (Non-fiction)
Patrick Thwaites (Young adult)
Rowena Sierant (Fiction)
Melissa Manning (Fiction)


The feedback on my section was :

“The successful picture book manuscripts clearly stood out for their dynamic characters, innovative genre-bending concepts, and/or their lyrical use of language. “

To read more head to  ASA Mentorship Winners 2015-16

A Mentor’s Journey


When you mentor you are working towards giving someone independence to achieve his or her own dream.

You are not doing for, but inspiring someone to action.

I made the short film above, inspired by Danielle’s dream for a dance drama where she danced both parts.


She wanted to make a film called Shadow Boxer.

I just wanted to show her how far I thought we could go with the footage we had.

She inspired and challenged me by asking me to do things I had never done with film before.

‘Can we do this June?’ she asked.

She knew I was still learning too but she had faith in my ability to learn and adapt.

I learnt what I could about the editing program I had and then taught her what her could, fully expecting her to take it a step further because this was her dream and her vision.

I created layers of film that she could mix and remix.

We worked in the time frames we had, but I knew she could do a lot of the editing herself as she had some film experience.  So we invested that time in finding the parts of the program she would need to master to achieve her goals.


I wanted her to know she could finish her project by herself.  She worked and worked on the film after the time I had with her came to an end.  Then one day she sent me the link – she was happy with it!

After many months I decided to revisit the original mentoring film and have since added more elements, like falling leaves and a closing sequence to round the music out. The subtle animation seems to work well with the piano.

I didn’t like the original colour, so I warmed it up.  So you see the mentor learns from the student and the student the mentor.  It is best when it’s a two way street.


Have you ever been a mentor?  What was easy and what was a challenge for you?

Mentoring Reference



Photofinish Fashion Episode

I was intrigued by  Fashion: Episode 5  of Photofinish having never done studio photography. I can only imagine working with lights, props, make up and costume as well as an amazing camera and on top of that needing to have a vision of an era of fashion.

This was one challenge where some training in photography studio work or experience using lighting for stage would definitely have come in handy.  I have never tackled fashion photography, the closest I ever came was a photography session with my daughter in a kimono given to her by a friend from Japan who visited us.   I worked outside, with ready made natural sets. I looked at my old photo set with new eyes and tried to see it as the judges of this episode might do.

I was very impressed with the winner episode five, Ellen Virgona, as she really threw herself around to take the photographs, that is trying different angles and leaving her tripod well behind to the point of making herself comfortable. I love such dedication and do that myself on occasion. She said she felt out of her comfort zone but was so willing to go with it, and trust her instincts. She was bold in her choice of final photo as well.

Handy tips learnt from this episode:

1- Less is more (don’t overdo the props)
2- Bring out the beauty of the model
3- Go with the flow and try different angles
4- Make bold decisions
5- Be aware of how your lighting affects the beauty of the model
6- Get make-up and hair done whilst you are setting up props
7- Have a variety of sets and props to experiment
8- Think about the era and get the colour palette right

So here is my Kimono Gift photo shoot from a couple of years ago.  Which one do you like the best?

Kimono Gift 1 – June Perkins
Kimono Gift 2- June Perkins
Kimono Gift 3 – June Perkins
Kimon Gift 4 – June Perkins
Kimono Gift 5 – June Perkins
Kimono gift 6 – June Perkins
Kimono Gift 7 – June Perkins

(c) June Perkins

Reinventing Futures for Refugee and Migrant Women

transmitting skills
Photo Credit: June Perkins, Transmitting Skills Series

Refugees and migrants come to Australia looking to rebuild their lives, and face many challenges – from tackling new cultures, language, home-sickness to searching for economic independence.  They come with talents, dreams and expectations.

They come to Australia to build new futures but the reality is often not what they may have expected of the ‘lucky country.’

I know this from first hand experience, having a migrant (but not refugee mother), so  I was excited to hear that Nell Arnold of, Out of Australia, is co-producing with the National Council of Women of Queensland a forum and film about “Reinventing Futures with/for, by women.”

This event will take place

 November 24, 6pm – 8:30pm   Queensland Parliamentary Annex

Professor Arnold has been for 40 years assisting refugees and new immigrants in many countries co-build enterprises with professional women and business owners.

Nell says:

“If you consider there may be 1.2 million professional and business women in Australia who could guide, mentor or partner five new refugee women into enterprise local to global.  If we did, we would be creating 6 million new self-employment opportunities.

The goal is to ensure women move out of social and economic isolation.

Each of the refugees and new immigrants women have links to at least five other women in Australia and beyond. Market size increases to 30 million – even 1% of this market size establishes viable futures for enterprise.

The internal to international market linkages, working to reinvent viable futures, introduces options.

Communication systems are adapting rapidly at a time when we all have to reinvent economic structures and cash-flows.”

This will be a fabulous and inspiring event leading to some mentoring and partnerships that will be beneficial not only to those attending but the fabric of Australian life and its participation in the  global community.

I look forward to future news from participants in this forum and trust that many Australians will find a way to support this initiative.

For more information on the Forum –