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Introduction to Mr Aaron Sterns for the My Deakin World Film Competition

It was a wonderful evening at Deakin Edge last week for the My Deakin World Film Competition where students presented their short films on what it means to be at Deakin University.  Prizes were up for grabs and for me I was enthused to see the creativity that abounds when encouragement is given to students.  This is my introduction to Mr Aaron Sterns, who was the key note speaker of the evening.

I have been pleasantly inspired tonight, by the Short Film, Silent Waltz to Play, and the Enthusiasts films thus far that we have all just watched. It's the words of Edward Young, an English poet of the 17th century that come to mind; for it is our senses that "Take in at once the landscape of the world, At a small inlet, which a grain might close, And half create the wondrous world they see."

Stories come from this place. Stories derive from our senses and are turned into novels, poems and as you have all witnessed today, films. Within one of my blogs, I had once written...”I view filmmaking an art form; pure art stemming from creativity, that forms from the depths of the soul, heart, mind, the world.  It is the small intricacies that form that vision, or rather the poetry of life and all that nature has to offer.  “

I have been blessed to see the world in this way. In attaining my Masters in Film from Deakin University I was given the opportunity to use all my senses in my creative endeavours. The support from the lecturers, tutors and peers was always phenomenal, for at Deakin, you are never just viewed as a student, but as a creator, a thinker, a 'I'm going to put my toe and then my entire self, right on the edge type of person'. And what happens when this sort of support surrounds you, is that you leave Deakin with a confidence and a 'Can Do' attitude for that was how you were encouraged to be. Deakin Undergrads constantly tell me that within Deakin they are wholly encouraged to be individuals and supported for their thinking. It is this type of support that allows a generation of people to come through that can and will make changes

We have one very special person who fits that bill tonight. Aaron Sterns, best known for his work as co-writer of the film, Wolf Creek 2, and author of the novel Wolf Creek: Origin, which has been described as ‘one of the best serial killer novels out there ['] destined to be considered a classic in future years’., and why? Because I feel that Aaron Sterns goes beyond the gore, and horror to portray a society that may at times be far too disparate for its citizens. 

Having said that, I have three adult children who are at Uni, and recently they had a discussion with me about moving north during their summer holidays to find part time work on cattle stations, I thought 'Yes', they may become independent after all... but after reading Wolf Creek Origin, seeing Wolf Creek 2, and meeting Mick the protagonist through these, I have pretty much refused my children any sort of leave beyond the Victorian border. They can stay right where they are.

Aaron Sterns is also the author of various Award-nominated and Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror recommended short stories. He is a former lecturer in Gothic & Subversive Fiction and editor of The Journal of the Australian Horror Writers. To name a few. It gives me great pleasure to introduce Mr Aaron Sterns who has brought new meaning to horror, and made us all need a convoy of guards whenever we step into the outback. Please welcome Mr Aaron Sterns.  

Stella Dimadis
September 2014


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