This October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. To raise money and awareness about reading and writing difficulties, a Creative Response competition is being held in Yass Valley. Entries are open to all ages, from preschoolers to adults, from Thursday 15th of September closing Wednesday 19th of October 9 PM. Winners will be notified Friday 28th October and awarded prizes at an afternoon tea on Saturday 29th of October 3 PM at Trader & Co. Café.

According to the Code Read Dyslexia Network, Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterised by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.

“Yass Valley Council, the library and local businesses have got behind it, and we are hoping to start conversations about Dyslexia, ADHD and other neurodiverse brains so that we can support them better in our region, including embracing their strengths,” said lead judge Kate Olsen. 

Mrs Olsen is the founder of Alphability, a Murrumbateman-based service providing support and tutoring to children with learning difficulties and working with schools and teachers to support those students.

“All children have the right to access the curriculum and to learn to read and write effectively,” she explained.

Mrs Olsen is hoping to organise a ‘Light it Up Red’ day with Yass Valley Council to put red lights on local buildings as a show of support for Dyslexia Awareness.

Sponsoring and supporting the competition include Alphability, Marq Property, The Yass Bookstore, Trader & Co., Ables Tutoring, Code Read Dyslexia Network, Yass Valley Council, Capturvate Photography, Four Winds Vineyard, Murrumbateman Public School, and Dyslexia technology services Texthelp and Read & Write.

To enter the competition, you can submit either a creative writing piece or artistic piece, responding to a Marq Property billboard advertisement for ‘Yass Valley’s Agent Sam McGregor’ considering the questions:

“Who is Yass Valley’s Special Agent, and what does he do?”

“Why do we need a special agent?”

Written responses could be a narrative, poem, script, persuasive essay, newspaper article, or song lyrics.

Artistic responses could be a cartoon strip, video production (e.g. film, dance, or stop-motion animation), drawing, painting, sculpture, photograph, collage, or slide presentation.

Kate Olsen & Sam McGregor promoting the competition at Murrumbateman local cafe 3 Sixteen

Prizes include a $100 Yass Bookstore Voucher for preschoolers, Flip Out passes for Kindergarten-Year 2 (trampoline park), Questacon passes for Years 3-6, and a National Zoo & Aquarium Family Pass for Years 7-12.

Years Kindergarten to Year 6 may enter as a pair and will receive passes for both children who win.

The 18+ winner will win a surprise overnight stay in Yass Valley, plus vouchers for local businesses.

Winning artwork has the option to be displayed at Trader & Co. with permission and depending on size or space (at the discretion of Trader & Co.).

Entry is free for preschoolers, $5 per entry from Kindergarten to Year 12, and $10 for those over 18. All entries need to be child and family-friendly.

All entry fees collected will form a donation to Code Read Support Network and Murrumbateman Public School Parents & Citizens’ Association, who will each receive 50%.

Entries in the Kindergarten to Year 12 divisions that support people with learning differences, such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, ADHD and/or Autism, in a creative and inspirational way will be considered for the additional prizes and voted for in the same way. 

Entry forms submitted via Google Form –

Entry fees need to be made by electronic transfer to the Fundraising account below:

ACCOUNT BSB: 062 629


Reference: Full name & division

Any questions can be sent to:

Southerly Jones