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Past Cairns High IB student launches book

Gabrielle Mundana will launch The Coffee Table Book on Saturday 28 June at the Canopy Arts Centre, 124 Grafton Street, from 5.30 to 7.30pm. Included in the launch will be an exhibition of artwork created by children from the Batase village in Nepal. The book is a compilation of the children’s artwork and Ms Mundana’s reflections on her experience conducting workshops in the village. “It gave an opportunity for these children to express their culture, home and life through the creative arts”, Ms Mundana explained.
Ms Mundana graduated at the end of 2011 from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program at Cairns State High School. Her connection with Friends of Himalayan Children (FHC) and her inspiration to make a difference in the lives of others less fortunate stemmed from her time studying the IB Diploma. Ms Mundana’s interest in philanthropic endeavours developed while fundraising for the FHC as part of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS). CAS is a core component of the IB Diploma which encourages students to develop skills beyond the academic arena.
In early 2013 Ms Mundana visited the Batase village and ran art workshops for children, aged approximately 4 to 15 years, at the local school. “Providing the children drawing pencils, crayons and painting equipment and seeing them express themselves through art for the first time in their lives was amazing”, she recalled.
Ms Mundana fundraised to gather the art materials and managed to find paint to complement the package in Kathmandu. She and three other young adults assisted her to transport the supplies to the Batase village which was two days walk from Kathmandu. “It was the coldest night of our lives, but amazing to wake up and watch the sunrise over the Himalayas from the roof of our hostel, which was precariously perched on a cliff”, she reminisced.
Ms Mundana spent ten days in the local hostel with approximately 20 of the students. Some of the school children are currently based at the hostel due to not having parents or parent(s) living away to support their education. “I want to create awareness through The Coffee Table Book, it contains their stories and art and I want to share it with my community”, she commented.
Gabrielle Mundana has finished her first semester of Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Sociology at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. “The IB Diploma has given me a fantastic preparation for university, especially in regards to being more confident with the writing tasks and critical thinking”, she commented. Ms Mundana is still connected with the FHC and is sure there will be another major project in her life related to this or other regional Australian communities in the near future.
The Coffee Table Book is a very colourful, vibrant and expressive book. Pre-order the book before the launch at Hard cover is $50 and soft cover is $38.
Entry to the book launch and art exhibition is by a donation of $10, or $5 for students and pensioners to assist with covering costs.