LORNA'S LEGACY: John and Amanda Goodwin with their children L-R Monty (8), Gilbert (3), Peggy (6), and Sabine (5) by Woolwash Lagoon outside Rockhampton.
LORNA'S LEGACY: John and Amanda Goodwin with their children L-R Monty (8), Gilbert (3), Peggy (6), and Sabine (5) by Woolwash Lagoon outside Rockhampton. Chris Ison ROK081117caward5

Rocky author channels inner child in award-winning piece

AMANDA Goodwin made a grand entrance as she channelled her inner child on the back of a push bike to accept a prestigious writing award.

Yesterday morning she was given the Lorna McDonald Essay Prize.

Woolwash Lagoon holds a special place in many Central Queenslanders' hearts, but Amanda says it was a kid's paradise and made her childhood idyllic.

The tranquil spot was the inspiration behind her literary essay called "Woolwashing”.

And she could not have accepted the award in a more fitting location, on the banks of the lagoon itself.

She was up against 14 other entrants who each wrote a piece which had to be no longer than 3000 words.

The essays were required to give a new perspective on Central Queensland and local history.

A special ceremony was held for Amanda to accept the prestigious honour.

"I started to think about the things I used to do as a child and the Woolwash just came to mind,” Amanda said.

"As you get older, you start looking for your connection to the past and the place where you grew up and I think that's what is happening for me right now.”

Amanda Goodwin (winner of the inaugural Lorna McDonald Essay Prize) cycling along Port Curtis Road near Woolwash Lagoon which was the subject of her writing.
Amanda Goodwin (winner of the inaugural Lorna McDonald Essay Prize) cycling along Port Curtis Road near Woolwash Lagoon which was the subject of her writing. Chris Ison ROK081117caward1

Amanda wanted to find out the story behind the name of the lagoon.

She later found out that there had been a woolscour on the site and the essay grew from there.

The author's husband was another influence on the project.

"Every night before bed, he'd often tell the kids stories about things that happened to him when he was growing up,” Amanda said.

Amanda realised she had not told her children about her fond memories of riding her bike to the Woolwash.

The author used to write a lot as a child and into her teenage years when she won a few prizes.

Writing took a back seat after the arrival of her four children Monty, Gilbert, Peggy and Sabine.

Amanda said she always had a passion for local history which she inherited from her father.

This year, she returned from a hiatus with Woolwashing.

One of the three judges, Lorraine Cairnes said each of the entries were different and were moving in their own way.

Lorna McDonald Essay Prize judge Lorraine Cairnes
Lorna McDonald Essay Prize judge Lorraine Cairnes Chris Ison ROK081117caward4

Lorraine described the role the Woolwash Lagoon played in the region's history.

"Before the cattle industry, there was the sheep industry in Rockhampton and the wool from here was very important,” she said.

Earlier this year, Lorna McDonald sadly passed away aged 101, leaving behind a great body of work.



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