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Young Creatives Blog

Meet Katie McAllister

Monday 25 January 2016

  • Announcement

Oh hello! My name is Katie McAllister, I’m from Albany, and I am so looking forward to being a PIAF Young Creative with the Perth Writers Festival. I’m 19 and going into my second year at the University of Western Australia, where I study Economics and try to not think about the fact I will eventually study Law.

Outside of university, I volunteer with the Western Australian Debating League as the Regional Officer, which means I can combine my loves of education, disagreement, road trip sing-a-longs and regional Australia. I was lucky to be part of the ABC’s Heywire Youth summit and spent some of my gap year volunteering on Albany Community Radio. At school, I was a diehard fan of The Literature Centre’s Young Writers Days. I am studying Speech and Drama through the AMEB, working towards my Licentiate so I can eventually teach. I also journal far too much, get in trouble for having too many books and not enough places to put them and try to go to see as much theatre as my student budget will allow.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a 2016 Young Creative. I am doing my best to be young (I am getting better at Instagram captions!) and creative (I recently was given a mindfulness colouring-in book and coloured a whale red).

I cannot wait for the opening address of the Perth Writers Festival by Roman Krznaric on empathy, because I feel like that is what we look for whenever we read a book or tell a story. Whenever we listen to an interview, whenever we watch a film, whenever we take time to read and invest ourselves in the stories of others, we are deepening and strengthening our sense of empathy. Social media will allow us to ‘connect’ with thousands of people all across the world, but contrary to the login page, Facebook isn’t really how we truly connect, empathy is. My generation has been gifted the hand-me-down social issues of previous generations. If we are to take ourselves seriously and expect others to take us seriously in addressing them, we need to appreciate empathy. This is a theme we will see throughout the whole writers program – from the Family Day to talks on escaping North Korea. I feel it is like condensing the purpose of every book ever, every Literary Festival ever into one hour. I’m way too excited for this talk!

I am also excited to work with the other Young Creatives and meet some of the writers I have been reading about for so long. Being able to ask the nitty gritty questions about working in the Arts in Western Australia and then learning first hand from the experiences of authors will be invaluable. I hope to come away from this experience with a clear understanding of what a career in the Arts will look like, with new friends and mentors from different artistic fields. I am also looking forward to learning how the giant that is PIAF is brought to life, by seeing all of the behind the scenes logistics take place. From here I hope to discover more opportunities in the Arts, to share with other regional young people.

Ultimately, I want to be an author, which is very self-indulgent but also true.  I feel there are so many stories about regional Western Australia that are waiting to be told and I hope that being part of the PIAF Young Creatives program will help me start to find the tools to tell them.

Young Creative: Perth Writers Festival

Written By Katie McAllister