Cathy Freeman in the frame for new award for her children's book

Olympics hero Cathy Freeman in the frame for a shock new award after becoming author of a children’s book she never intended to write

  • Freeman won an historic gold medal at Sydney Olympics 
  • Has written several books for adults since then 
  • Has now penned her first children’s book 

Over two decades since her famous run to victory at the Sydney Olympics, Aussie sprinter Cathy Freeman is now in the running for a very different kind of award.

Freeman became an icon of Australian sports history At the 2000 Sydney Olympics as she won the gold medal in the 400 meters, carrying the hopes of her nation and symbolising reconciliation for Indigenous Australians.

Now, she has been shortlisted for the Wilderness Society Karajia Award for her children’s book The Heartbeat of the Land which was written by Freeman along with Coral Voss and Tannya Harricks in 2022.

The Karajia Award for Children’s Literature was established in 2022 to recognize and celebrate outstanding achievements in children’s literature by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island authors and/or illustrators. 

The award focuses on honoring the Connection to Country and storytelling that explores themes of land, community, culture and language. 

Freeman ignited a nation when she claimed the 400 metres gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000

Now the champion sprinter has released her first children’s book which has been short-listed for an award

Freeman was on a journey of self-discovery and her children’s book The Heartbeat of the Land was a fortunate side product of that journey

It aims to highlight the excellence and significance of literature that reflects and promotes the rich heritage and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for young readers.  

Cathy Freeman has previously written several remarkable books that showcase her inspiring journey as an athlete and beyond. 

Born to Run captures the essence of her incredible Olympic triumph in Sydney, while the Born to Run picture edition beautifully complements the story with captivating visuals. 

In her autobiography Cathy,  she delves into her personal life and provides a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs she faced along the way. 

Additionally, her cookbooks offer a delightful blend of her passion for healthy living and her indigenous heritage, providing readers with nourishing recipes and cultural insights. 

However The Heartbeat of the Land was an accidental product after Freeman, now 50, embarked on a journey of self discovery.

‘I am pretty excited to be part of this really cool creative process,’ Freeman told Sunrise on Thursday.

‘I actually didn’t set out to (write a children’s book). I actually found myself just pursuing things that I’m naturally very curious about.’

‘I explore my grandmother’s language of the Kuku Yalanji people of Far North Queensland,’ Freeman said.

‘So I think this was just such a natural choice.’

Freeman also received the honour to ignite the 27th Olympiad of the modern era at the Sydney Olympics

Sydney 2000 gold medal winners Louise Sauvage (L) and Freeman (R) prepare to re-light the Olympic Cauldron as part of celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the Games in 2010

Oh, gosh, yes. Absolutely,’ she said.

‘I think we’ve got all some sort of ancestral space within us all but certainly being a part of this storytelling process has been a lot of fun actually.

‘Stories are very important and it’s a great connecter for all of us everywhere.’

Freeman gained international recognition when she won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Four years later, at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she became a national hero by winning the gold medal in the 400-meter race. 

This victory was particularly significant as she was the first Aboriginal athlete to win an individual Olympic gold medal for Australia. 

Throughout her career, Freeman achieved numerous other accolades, including multiple Commonwealth Games gold medals and World Championship titles. 

Source: Read Full Article