Woodend Author Dee White is off to Paris next month on a research trip for her latest novel, Beyond Belief. Based on the true story of Algerian Muslims in the Grand Mosque of Paris who saved Jewish children during WWII, Ms White will spend a month immersing herself in the world of the mosque, the sewers, and other historical settings featured in the story.

Ms White, whose father fled Austria in 1938 says that she was drawn to the story not just because of the Jewish history in her family, but because of the universality of the themes. “The world belongs to all of us. We are all entitled to the same safety, freedom and acceptance regardless of race or religion, and this story is a reminder of that,” she said.

“Grants like these really open up horizons for regional writers like me. It’s a fabulous opportunity and I’m grateful for the government support that will make it a reality.”

Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, today congratulated Ms White, who has received a $9,200 Vic Arts Grant to research and develop the novel.  “With the support of this grant, Dee will be able to write a story for young readers that celebrates diversity and promotes acceptance,” Ms Thomas said.

Dee White’s project is one of 87 diverse new creative projects sharing in over $1.8 million through the Labor Government’s Vic Arts Grants program which was announced in January this year.

The program supports projects that will take place across the state, the country and the globe. Collectively, the round will provide jobs and career development opportunities for more than 2,700 Victorian artists.

“Woodend, and the Macedon Ranges has a strong and creative community and it is wonderful to see Dee recognised in this round amongst some of the state’s most exciting artists and creative companies,” Ms Thomas said.

For program details, and to see a full list of the latest VicArts Grants recipients, visit