After the Fairbridge Festival Neil & I joined up with Marco Gliori for a week of performances and school workshops hosted and organised by Neil & Cathy Howard from Whicher Ridge Wines just outside Busselton WA.
Neil Howard and I go way back to when we played junior footy together at Moonambel. Our folks were good friends and we hadn’t seen each other for well over 40 years. He heard I was a Bush Poet so he invited myself and Neil McArthur over for the second year of his festival.
In the lead up we had shows at Albany and Kojunup which went very well. Great audiences and wonderful people.
Then it was on to the South West Poets Festival which began with a fantastic Lunch at Whicher Ridge Wines with about 50 people enjoying superb local food and wines as well as being entertained with our best poems and yarns. It was a wonderful was to kick of the week and everyone said they would be back again next year with friends in tow.
We then moved on to several school workshops during the week with all the kids from various primary and secondary schools around the region enjoying and participating in workshops and performances by Marco, Neil & myself. Some of the resulting poems from the kids were enough to convince us that the future of poetry is in great shape in the South West of WA. Of course kudos to Neil & Cathy and the team from Odyssey Events for recognizing the need to get these workshops into their local schools.
The week finished with a fundraising event at the Busselton Footy Club where a packed crowd enjoyed a great night of Comedy, music and yarns whilst assisting in raising funds for the Black Dog Ride, a wonderful organisation with a focus on Awareness of Depression and Suicide Prevention. It was a pleasure for us to be involved in such a worthy cause, and a huge thanks to everyone involved in the night.
After the dust had settled on a big few weeks, Marco & Julie continued on their caravaning holiday up the WA coast, while Neil and I bid farewell to our friends in the west and caught the red eye back to Vic. All in all it was an unforgettable 18 day tour that took us to many places and provided many good times in the south west of WA.