Raf Gonzalez is a creative writer through scripts and short stories. Raf has the ability to tell stories of his experience as a born Salvadoran Latino growing up in Perth. He also identifies himself as an “aspie” (Asperger’s Syndrome). In Raf’s essay, ‘Language Barrier’, he explains that at the age of 4, a Speech Pathologist identified a language disorder and signs of Autism. Growing up, Raf found his passion in the arts and literature, giving him the confidence to become a writer.
Raf explains in his writing his struggles with language barriers and his identity as a child to how he navigates embracing it now as an adult. He has a knack for demonstrating his bubbly and comedic personality while representing cultural and diverse minorities in his writing.
Raf was selected by The Inclusion Matters Mentoring Program for a 12-month program, funded by the Copyright Agency and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. The 12-month program allows each writer to work with a well-established mentor to improve their skills and work in a supportive community. The program is designed for people living in Western Australia who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse. For Raf, the mentoring program has helped support him to improve his writing and work on his goals.
“I have been receiving editing assistance in some of my short stories and script writings. I’ve also been getting advice on grammar, particular narrative tools and world-building skills. Brooke has been really supportive and very patient with my writings; she and I have been very pleased with my progress. I have participated in some of the workshops and continue receiving mentoring with my writing.”
Raf has accomplished a lot this year, a particular one to note is his first global published essay, ‘How Can the Arts Save us’. Raf explained that this was his biggest achievement this year and was important to him and his family to support the arts during a pandemic.
After 12 months of working on his writing, Raf has announced that his essay, ‘My Self-Awareness: The Boy from Chinameca’, is being published in a new book by the Centre for Stories as part of a new anthology book called, ‘To Hold the Clouds‘. Raf was invited to read out half of the essay on September 30, at an event called Break the Glass Slipper II, $250 of the proceeds was kindly donated to the Autism Association of Western Australia. Thank you to Raf for generously donating all profits to the Association.
Raf told the Centre for Stories that his goal for 2020 was to have some of his written work published. We are so pleased that Raf achieved his goal and we can’t wait to see what he will accomplish in 2021.