After a challenging decision-making process for the judges, we are pleased to announce that Dominic Goodwin is the winner of the 2023 Shine Writers' Prize.
Dominic impressed the judges by exploring his comic side in a storyboard of himself describing special moments in his life pre- and post-accident, titled "This is me, Neon".
Dominic's visual story shows that after he left hospital, his zest for life has continued. A mix of text and pictures, his story tells us about his love of music, shuffle dancing and sport, and he shares some of his recent adventures.
"I still love shuffling and music and I love being out and about. That's what makes me happy. I've done some cool things with my carers since my accident, like Defqon and going on holidays." said Dominic.
As a shuffler, Dominic loves sneakers and plans on buying himself a fresh pair of Nike TN shoes with his prize money. He's already been shopping to check out what's new!
The theme: Who I am?
The theme for 2023 "Who I Am" explored identity. This could be a source of reflection on one's own story, how identity can be redefined, or provide the opportunity to find meaning through exploring another identity.
icare's Group Executive Lifetime Schemes, Dr Nick Allsop, praised the quality and creativity of the material submitted by this year's contestants, reinforcing how it helps to build connection through the power of writing and storytelling.
"This year's contest theme "Who I am", invited entrants to reflect on their identity, family and community. I would like to personally express my gratitude to everyone who contributed their stories. It was a privilege to get an insight into your worlds and experiences." he said.
Runner up was Asha Prasad, who challenged her mindset to find her own writing style. The key message Asha wants people to take away is "to live life to the fullest safely, within your means and not harming anyone else and to not give up on what you really want to do."
Highly commended for his work was Daniel Khalef. One of the challenges of creating his illustrated story was drawing about what made him feel vulnerable. This meant revisiting what happened when he had his accident, accepting it, and then expressing his emotions on paper.
"You hear people talking about it, but you truly need to experience that again by drawing it. This helps us accept what has happened, learn from each lesson to grow and build your future by caring about who you love. Being stuck in the past will only hold you down."
"You must undergo a traumatic experience to be optimistic and thankful, to see the beauty in everything as simple as taking a breath."
About the Shine Writers' Prize
This inaugural Shine Writers' Prize showcases the talent of participants in Lifetime Care, workers in the Workers Care Program, and clients in Dust Diseases Care. It celebrates the role of writing and storytelling in promoting and supporting emotional well-being and social connection.
Entrants have experienced severe injury from motor or workplace accidents in NSW or have developed a dust disease as a result of hazardous dust exposure while working in NSW.
This initiative was run by icare NSW in consultation with Accessible Arts NSW, the peak arts and disability organisation in NSW.
Entries for the 2023 Shine Writers' Prize included a range of storytelling styles and formats. A collection of works as presented by the authors including the prize-winning entries.