Everyone has a story.

Just like any normal library, books will be available to borrow, engage with and learn from.

Except the Books, in this instance, will be real people with a unique personal experience or perspective that they will generously share with Readers.

Living Books are real people representing a group that often face prejudice or stereotyping in society.

They can represent different minorities based on culture, religion, belief, ideology, disability, sexual orientation, gender or appearance. The Books can also represent occupations or hobbies that face prejudice.

Take this chance to connect with people you may not normally have the occasion to speak to within our community, to better understand the life experiences of others, and to challenge your own assumptions, prejudices and stereotypes.

Living Library provides a safe environment and encourages active and engaging conversations so that people can develop a greater understanding of each other’s stories.

When can I visit the Living Library?

Friday 18 May 6pm-8pm - Welcome to Hedland

Monday 21 May 10am-12pm - South Hedland Senior Highschool (open to students only)

Thursday 24 May 10:00-12:00om (during story time) - South Hedland Library

Thursday 24 May 5pm-7pm - South Hedland Library

Saturday 26 May 10am-12pm - South Hedland Library

What books are available? 

One Step at a Time with Special Needs "Growing up, living and working with people who have special needs, I understand the struggles, the rewards, the excitement of what they are experiencing in their everyday life. How can we as kind, caring and compassionate people, ensure inclusion, awareness and respect for every person we meet?" Friday 18 May, 6pm-8pm
Working with an Accent Speaking English as a second language with a strong accent in a professional space isn't always easy. Having a strong accent can cause confusion or misunderstandings, sometimes are funny, but sometimes are not.
Also, sometimes society tends to type cast you to the preconceived idea of what someone from your culture should act, speak or look like. In my case due to my Latin American heritage and culture, but also due to my gender, age, accent and background I have been type casted in several occasions (such as airports and job interviews).
Thursday 24 May 10:30-11:30
Stereotyping Eating Disorders  When I was a teenager I suffered from severe anorexia for many years and the one thing that still bothers me today is that people believe it’s just a teenage girly thing about being skinny. It’s not. For me it was an escape, a coping mechanism after having suffered traumatic events. It quickly became the one and only thing I had control over when my world suddenly seemed to fall apart. It was a call for help when no one seemed to be around; a way of slowly ‘disappearing’ while desperately hoping someone would help and stop me.   Monday 21 May and Tuesday 22 May
Trained Killer? I served for 20 years in the army as a Special Forces operator in elite Australian Army units. In that time I was accused variously of being a unthinking thug who uses excessive force to work outside international law in illegal, unjust wars against innocent people - and of being 'brainwashed' into some sort of 'cult'.  My Regiments were often vilified by issue-motivated groups and ignorant members of society who took their understanding and perception of our role and tasks from Hollywood - and filled the rest with assumptions. Or did they?  What does it take to be selected to serve in our elite military units?  How close are our detractors out there to the reality of service in Special Forces?     Monday 21 May 10am-12pm and Thursday 24 May 5pm-7pm
Young Malay Girl As a young female Muslim, people struggled to understand my religion and why I wore a head scarf. Growing up there were everyday difficulties that I had to face. There were things I was unable to do such as playing certain sports, eat at certain times, wear certain clothes and eat certain foods. Some of the times I struggled to be accepted was in the workforce, especially when dealing with costumers who had strong minded opinions straight up. This was a great opportunity where I could educate people, particularly young people, about my religion and the reasons. My life motto: To be who you are and don’t be ashamed of that! Monday 21 May Thursday 24 May 10:30am
Foster Mum I am part of a diverse family.  We experience stares, pity, uncomfortable questions and strangers approaching us in all settings.  There is also a lot of uncertainty and sometimes a feeling of a lack of control.  But at the end of the day we have the pleasure of meeting new people and having a wonderful new person in our family who we love very much.

Friday May 18 6pm-8pm (with Foster Child)

Thursday May 24 10.30am-11.30am

Saturday May 26 10am-12pm

A childhood history of Native Welfare hostels Gilliamia Onslow and Moorgunya Hostel This story is to provide personal and professional context to the history of educational institutions set up in the Pilbara for the removal of Aboriginal children into native welfare educational institutions.  Like many I was taught at school the "terra nullius" version of history, that this country was discovered by Captain Cook and settled as an English colony. We were prohibited to talk about Aboriginal history, language, land, traditions and practices. We entered these educational hostels at age 5 then arrived here in Port Hedland. We grew up with no understanding or education for this history of traditional lands we were transported to, its traditional owners, knowledge of the land stories and songs. I now look at Aboriginal history in a different light as signifying the traumas of colonisation and now work in an organsiation Wangka Maya where we endeavour to retell this history and to reconnect language, land and people.

Thursday 24 May 10am - 12pm

Female working in male dominated industries

Earlier in my career, I decided to become an automotive mechanic. From the TAFE classroom to  work experience placement, I experienced prejudice for being a female who loved cars and wanted to work in an industry I was interested in. From "kind" comments like "I'll give you a hand with that love, bit heavy for a lady" to the more challenging stereotype of "bet you don't even finish your trade cert, being a chick and all".  After completing my apprenticeship I took a year off and traveled the world. When I returned to Australia, I entered the mining construction industry. For over 10 years, I have always worked myself up the ladder, but have become pigeonholed into administrative duties and not been give the opportunity to transfer my management skills to another discipline.

Thursday 24 May 10am-12pm

White Skinned Aboriginal

Looking at me you wouldn't pick I'm aboriginal descent, I'm probably the whitest black fella you will ever see. So growing up and even today, whenever I tell someone that I am aboriginal I do receive comments like, "you don't look Aboriginal" or "it's ok you don't look it." Being Aboriginal isn't just about having dark skin. It's also about things you can't see. The history, the stories, the values and the family / land ties.

Thursday 24 May 10am-12pm

Thursday 24 May 5pm-7pm

Saturday 26 May 10am-12pm


As kids growing up in a regional area with parents that were bordering on relgious extremism created challenges in social interactions that took years to overcome. Yet, I still considered being a muslim to marry my wife.

Thursday 24 May 5pm-7pm

Migrant I came to Australia in 1987 to start a family. I had my first child Karla in 1988 and my second onne Jesse in 1996. In 1990, I started studying at Edith Cowan University to do Bachelor of Arts in Education majoring in Aboriginal and Intercultural Studies. I have graduated in 1992 and started part time teaching. In 1994, I was awarded by Soroptimist International the "Woman of Achievement" for my community voluntary work and personal achievements. I worked with Social Security department/ Centrelink for nearly 20 years doing varied positions. Currently, I am working with IBN Corporation as a Team leader of the Community Programs team. I am the president of the newly founded Hedland Filipino Australian Society which aims to foster cultural, harmony and multicultural diversity in the community.

Thursday 24 May 5pm-7pm

Saturday 26 May 10am-12pm
Growing up in apartheid South Africa I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up during what is known as the apartheid era. From the early 1950’s through to the release of Nelson Mandela from jail in 1993, very strong racist based laws were passed which strongly affected the majority of non-white South Africans in terms of where they could live, what jobs they could do, who they could marry, where they could go etc. The 1976 race riots and the escalation of the bush war resulted in the conscription of white males into the military for 2 years plus 3months per year for 10 years.  I grew from racist white boy to political activist – different views, briefs and career.

Monday 21 May

Would you like to become a book?

 Please fill out the registration form and email it back to cdixon@porthedland.wa.gov.au or drop it of at the Town of Port Hedland Civic Centre, McGregor Street, Port Hedland.

Have you got questions?

 Please contact Cara Dixon at cdixon@porthedland.wa.gov.au or at 9158 9325.

Thank you to Roy Hill for making this event possible.