A Literature Festival for Regional Queensland Youth
Nurturing a life-long love of literature since 1996
Immanuel Lutheran College, Buderim, and the University of the Sunshine Coast present the award winning youth literature festival Voices on the Coast for South-East Queensland students at the University of the Sunshine Coast each autumn/early winter. The Sunshine Coast is just over an hour’s drive north of Brisbane and includes such popular holiday destinations as Noosa Heads, Coolum, Mooloolaba and Caloundra.
Since its beginnings in 1996, the Festival has brought some of Australia’s finest established and emerging writers and performers for young people to the area for two days of workshops, book-talks, storytelling, poetry and drama. Just over 240 individual presenters and eighteen groups have participated since the Festival’s inception with half of them Queensland born or based and the other half from interstate. Voices Plus is the adult community program augmenting the Student Sessions for book lovers and is held throughout the week of the festival.
Voices on the Coast offers a unique cultural experience to regional youth and the Festival has become a much-anticipated event for students from year levels 4 –12 (aged 9-18 years) along the Sunshine Coast and from the adjacent inland areas. Some students travel over 200 km to attend the festival. The aim of the festival is to inspire young people to enjoy the world of reading, writing, drawing and performing through their experiences each year. Over 4,500 students attend the annual festival.
In October 2009 the Voices on the Coast festival was awarded a Highly Commended in the Excellence by a School and its Community category of the Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence, following the 2008 Maroochy Shire Council Australia Day Award for a Community Event. These are a testament to the community support received from Immanuel Lutheran College, the University of the Sunshine Coast, government and non-government schools and the local community.
The festival is a significant event in the cultural calendar for the Sunshine Coast region.