Monica Murray is an Emerging Leader for the Africa Region on the International Council. As an Award holder, she credits the Award with inspiring her to write and publish her first book. Although the target audience is slightly younger than those who are eligible to take up the Award, the book is about empowerment and finding creative ways to keep active during these unprecedented times.

COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. With all of the posts circulating on social media, Monica remembered seeing one about using your time at home to do something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t yet had the time. At 10:00pm on 22 March 2020, she sat up in bed and decided to write her book. As an aspiring teacher working as a part time au pair, she had always wanted to write a children’s book and the lines “just because you’re on your own, it doesn’t mean you’re alone” played over and over in her head. From there, the words of the book came to her.

Monica Murray on TV

Within a day, the book was fully written and she was in touch with a publisher. She quickly recruited an illustrator to bring the book to life using range of multicultural characters. From bubble baths to imaginary worlds to cleaning, keeping hygienic to using your imagination and having fun, Monica wanted the book to inspire young children to use things at home to stay active and creative during the pandemic. Be it, activities with or without parents, the book invites children to find resilience during these tough times.

Monica’s creativity and grit to make it through these tough times while having lost her position at work demonstrate her desire to spread positivity and inspiration to others. She wanted to make the book accessible to all and encourage everyone to stay home which is why the book is initially, only available as an eBook. Her hope is to release a hard copy of the book later this year.

The launch of Monica’s eBook was welcomed at a local nursery in Queensland, Australia. Reading the book aloud to a group of young children, Monica’s journey was captured by local media and news outlets.

Now that the Award has helped Monica find her purpose, passion and place in Australia, she hopes to become an Award Leader and continue supporting the Award in her home country of South Africa. She aims to finish her Master’s degree in education in mid 2021 while continuing with part-time work in childcare and her volunteering as a mentor at a local school.

Ready to start your own creative adventure? Monica’s tip on creativity is: “always sleep with a notebook and pen beside your bed. You never know what you might dream up!”

Monica Murray

Monica Murray on Win News

But don’t get down and don’t feel blue, I’ve got a list of things to do…