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Among the cherry blossoms

More than 80 people gathered at the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp to see the launch of author Anita Heiss’ new novel “Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms”.
Nanjing Night Net

The novel, which is based on the Cowra Breakout, was appropriately launched during commemorations for the 72ndanniversary of the Breakout.

Cowra Mayor, Councillor Bill West, said he was proudto launch the novel.

“There’s an endeavourto tell the story of the Breakout in many forms, it transcends throughout history,” Cr West said.

“It isimportant to recognise that we need to preserve the history and tell it as it is,but to also be allowed to use that history to tell stories.”

Cr West said Cowra was proud to be able to call Anita an “honourary local” and that the novel paid homage to the Breakout, the history of the Erambie Mission and the Cowra community.

“This morning I was up here at half past eight and it was a bit chillier than it is now,I couldn’t help to think as I stood and observed the tranquility of this beautiful spot, the history that unfolded some 72 years ago and how the turmoil of that evening has been replaced by tranquility and peace,” Cr West said.

“I came away with that old saying, the pen is mightier than the sword.

“That is a theme that runs through the book, of love, peace and tranquility.

“Today I have the pleasure of launching a book by one of Australia’s future literally leaders.”

Anita said she was grateful to be back on Wiradjuri country with her familyand herstory was for the people of Cowra.

“To all the Cowra locals, I wrote this book for you, I wrote this book for anybody that calls Cowra home, because I do,” she said.

‘I’m not an expert on the Breakout, I’m not an expert on Cowra, I’m not an expert about Erambie, I’m just someone who wrote a book cause I wanted school students around Australia to be talking about WW2 from an Australian perspective that included Aboriginal people.”

She thanked those who helped with the novel including Dr Laurie Bamblett, Lawrance Ryan, Graham Apthorpe, Marc McLeish, Aunty Norma Wallace, Ann Weldon, Beatrice Murray, Jackie Bealeand her mother Elsie.

“Paramount to storytelling was weaving in my mothers memories and paying tribute to Wiradjuri,” she said.

“No story is ever owned by one person.”

Anita hopes her story, and the lessons from the Breakout, will continue to be told around Australia and internationally.

“I want the world to know that Cowra is a fantastic place to be,” she said.

“It is the home of past, present and future Aboriginal leaders.”

Author Anita Heiss signs copies of her new book “Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms”, at the novel’s launch last Friday at the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp. She launched the novel on the 72nd Anniversary of the Cowra Breakout.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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