Local literary advocate writes history with Arts and Culture Award
Published 21 January 2021
Scarborough resident Jim Higgins is encouraging writers across Moreton Bay to put pen to paper and pursue their passion in literacy, earning him the 2021 Australia Day Arts and Culture Award.
As the President of the Fellowship of Australia Writers Queensland (FAWQ), Jim was instrumental in bringing the inaugural Readers and Writers Festival to the Moreton Bay this year.
Combining his writing passion with his love of Moreton Bay, Mayor Peter Flannery said Jim’s contribution to the arts and culture space had benefitted many even if they’d never met him.
“When Jim became FAWQ President, he breathed new life into the institution and put Moreton Bay back on the map as a destination for aspiring and professional writers,” Mayor Flannery said.
“In fact, thanks to Jim, we’ve had many people already register for the upcoming Readers and Writers Festival in June, which will be a drawcard for international writers by virtue of showcasing local talents.
“Jim is also part of the Redcliffe Writers Group and volunteers for Writers Open Mic, which is often a draw card for writers and visitors across South East Queensland to Moreton Bay.”
Jim Higgins said it was an incredible surprise to receive the award.
“To me, this acknowledgement should be for all those writers and all those people who work to make their life story a creative one,” Jim said.
“We are a storytelling species and I’ve always had this belief that writing is an art that builds connection, and connection builds community.
“Very few writers organisations have lasted continually for a hundred years as the Fellowship of Australian Writers Queensland has done, so it’s important to celebrate that heritage and look to the future.
“What is most attractive about the whole Moreton Bay Region is the diversity of the environment, from the seascape to the hinterlands and the riverine areas, and the diversity in the community, with creative people across performance artists, visual artists, writers and more.”
Councillor Sandra Ruck (Div 5) said Jim was an outstanding award recipient for his contribution to our next generation of authors, reporters and playwriters.
“Jim has made an impact to so many lives, including thousands of student working as a high school teacher in English, History and Drama,” Cr Ruck said.
“As a former teacher myself, I see the benefit of creative expression that Jim has worked so hard to encourage through his teaching.”