Student Workshops

Author Workshop at Dromkeen

Dromkeen & Mark Wilson will present a unique educational experience using award-winning children’s picture books, including:

Eureka! A Story of the Goldfields, A New Prayer for the Animals, Rachel’s War, Tupaia, Isaac and Cook – Search for the Great South Land; & new 2022 – Votes for Women! The Story of Nellie, Rose & Mary.

Creative Writing Workshops & Gallery Viewing

Students will be introduced to the art of picture books, including: ‘how to get that great idea’, ‘build believable characters’ & ‘simple ways to illustrate picture books’. Workshops include interactive, hands-on picture book sessions where students discover the secrets to successful writing & illustrating. The focus is to encourage students to have confidence in their own writing and drawing and in developing their own ideas & stories.

Students will also take part in gallery viewing with Dromkeen owner Bernadette Joiner and participate in visual literacy activities.



Mark Wilson

Mark is an Internationally acclaimed author/Illustrator with over thirty children’s books in print worldwide. He won the 2011 Dromkeen Award for Services to Children’s Literature, has been awarded five CBCA Notable Picture book Awards, a 2018 YABBA Award, 2014 WAYRA Award, found Whitley Awards for children’s Literature and four Wilderness Society Awards.

Recent workshop/presentations include the 2020 Young Australian Best Book Award Anzac Day Sessions, the 2020 Newcastle & District Liberians Conference, and all those wonderful schools from Fremantle in WA to Bendigo in Victoria & Rathmines in NSW.

Bernadette Joiner

Bernadette Joiner is the creative force behind the Dromkeen Gallery and as owner and Director, she also brings many years of experience as a Primary School teacher. She has had a lifelong passion for children’s literature and the visual arts and also for nurturing this love in others, particularly younger people. She has hosted many hundreds of visitors to the Dromkeen Gallery.

Beyond her role as a curator at Dromkeen, Bernadette loves to advocate for the arts in her community and was made the Australia Day Ambassador for the Arts in the Macedon Ranges in 2020. She was invited to be guest Judge in the Kyneton Art Show in the same year.

Over the last ten years, she has not only curated many beautiful exhibitions in the Dromkeen Gallery but also in municipal libraries and museums, featuring the work of some of Australia’s top illustrators.



Levels F-2 presentations can include links to history.

Themes explored can include:

  • history of the Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Peoples of the Macedon area,
  • a study of the local environment & wildlife,
  • local settlers & families,
  • the significance of historical/cultural sites.

These are explored through picturebooks like Kookoo Kookaburra, The Last Tree, a Powerpoint presentation and other workshop and gallery activities.


Levels 3-4 presentations can also include links to history.

Themes explored can include:

  • the cause & effect of migration
  • European settlement & exploration
  • the impact on the indigenous people of the area
  • the significance of country & place, of symbols & emblems, including Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Harmony Week & National Reconciliation Week.

These themes are explored through gallery activities and writing/ illustration workshops featuring books such as Beth-the Story of a Child Convict, Flapper VC, Inside the World of Tom Roberts & My Name is Lizzy Flynn.


Levels 5-6 presentations can also include links to history.

Themes explored can include:

  • stories and perspectives of people who migrated to Australia
  • changing patterns of development and the experiences and contributions of particular migrant groups and individuals.
  • Australian democracy and citizenship
  • the status & rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants, women, & children.

Featured books include Never Lose Hope, Eureka! a Story of the Goldfields, Voters for Women! -the True Story of Nellie, Rose and Mary & The Story of Carolyn Chisholm.