Community spirit sees Parky Koala set for this year’s Storyfest

WORDS: Pippa Jeffries PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

If you’re driving past Koala Park in Burleigh, this week you will notice the iconic Parky Koala has received an academic makeover with his latest dress up in honour of the official program launch for this year’s Somerset Storyfest.

Kicking off on 17 March, this year’s Storyfest festival will once again inspire literary lovers of all ages, as it celebrates the power of community.

Featuring well known authors including Andrew Daddo, Ursula Dubosarsky, Jess Hill and Fiona McIntosh, the festival will be jam-packed with workshops, readings and exhibitions throughout the three-day event.

Storyfest CEO and Festival Director, Andrea Lewis, said the word community epitomises what Storyfest is all about.

“We are all about community spirit and allowing all members of the community to have access to reading, no matter where you live or where you come from,” Ms Lewis said.

“We are thrilled that Parky could help us launch the program this year, as he represents the true success of Storyfest – the community spirit it encourages and also relies upon.”

Parky’s guardian, Mark Burrows, is a Storyfest ‘Community Champion’, which means he helps to connect the general community to the festival, through the little lending libraries, which is managed from the front of his home.

“I am an avid reader, if it’s got paper and writing, I love it. I’ve always been a big book person and I love getting out there and promoting reading,” Mr Burrows said.

Over the years Mr Burrows has become a community champion and said the little lending library has been well received by the Koala Park community.

“It’s things like this that help to bring people together a little bit more.”

Storyfest has a long history of promoting community spirit and this year will be no different with a jam-packed schedule that captivates, entertains and educates by showcasing storytelling through different mediums, including books, but also pictures and performance.

“We will have something for everyone, whether you’re 5 years old through to 50+ years old, with reading sessions, writing and illustration workshops, theatre performances, long lunches and other opportunities to mix, mingle and learn from some of Australia’s most successful authors and storytellers,” Ms Lewis said.

A full program of events will be released in coming weeks. Many events throughout the Festival are free, however most are ticketed as spaces are limited.

Visit the website to book or subscribe to keep up to date with happenings throughout the year