It was Bert Hinkler's determination and passion which captured the heart of local author Elaine Lyons, prompting her to put pen to paper to create a children's book about the local legend.
On February 2 the Bundaberg woman launched her book Bert, The Boy Who Had a Dream, which outlines the flying adventures of the aviation pioneer.
Elaine was surrounded by her family, friends and those who had helped the story come to life at the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, which created the perfect backdrop for the launch.
She said the inspiration behind her picture book came from her 12 grandchildren.
“I wanted to tell my grandchildren about Bert because I was so inspired by his story,” she said.
“I thought it was pretty incredible that as a little boy at the age of four he saw birds flying near his home and he wanted to be able to do that to fly.
“All through his life he was totally focused.”
Book idea four years in the making
The former teacher said her children's book was a labour of love, with the idea forming four years ago but fully coming to fruition during the Coronavirus lockdown.
“That's when I really decided to push forward with the project,” she said.
“The illustration was the part I most enjoyed.
“I have done a bit of book illustration before but with this book I wanted a simple pen and wash look to it.”
Elaine said she drew inspiration for the illustration from her own photos of birds and her grandchildren.
“I used two of my grandchildren, Harry and Lachie, to create the images of Bert flying as well as images of the bridge,” she said.
Grandkids proud of Bert Hinkler book
Elaine's grandchildren, Harrison, Elsie and Lachie, attended the launch and said they were very proud of their grandma, affectionately known as Smooch, for creating such a wonderful book.
“It's good. What's great about it is that it tells you about Bert and how he travelled around the world on his plane,” Lachie said.
“I like how it is illustrated,” Elsie said.
“We are really proud of Smooch.”
Elaine said she was grateful to be able to pass on the adventures of Bert Hinkler to not only her own grandchildren, but children everywhere.
“This book is all about his huge adventure,” she said.
“Adventures that he had and what he was able to achieve, I think he is a great role model for kids.”
Bert, The Boy Who Had A Dream can be purchased at Hinkler Hall of Aviation, Dymocks, Art Plus Bundaberg and the Tourist Information Centres around the region.
Related stories: Bundaberg grandma writes ‘Bert, The Boy Who Had a Dream'